JUNE 19, 2000

Benetton to use Renault engines in 2001

THE Benetton team currently uses V10 engines which were designed by Renault Sport but are marketed by Supertec for Mecachrome under the Playlife banner. Next year we hear the engines will have a rather less complicated lineage as they will become Renault V10s once again as the French car company prepares to return to the sport in 2002 when it takes over the Enstone-based team. It remains to be seen what the specification of the engines will be next year but it is expected that they will be an all-new engine which will be made competitive and reliable in the course of 2001 so that Renault can be seen to be competitive from the moment the official Renault team appears.

A large number of the Renault Sport staff have been working at Mecachrome and Supertec in the last couple of years and these engineers are expected to return to Renault full-time in 2001. It remains to be seen what happens next season with the second Supertec supply which is currently being used by Arrows. It may be that the old engines will continue to be supplied by Mecachrome to Arrows although Tom Walkinshaw is believed to be looking elsewhere for an engine as the 2000 units are not likely to be very competitive in 2001. The team has been linked to a variety of different deals, notably Honda, Toyota and the current Peugeot engines which are expected to be used next year with different badging