Wednesday June 20th, 2001
Benetton plan to use 'launch control' technology for the first time this season at the start of Sunday's European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.
The electronic system, which allows a smoother and faster getaway than a conventional start, has been allowed since the Spanish Grand Prix at the end of April, though some Formula One teams have struggled with the complex software.
McLaren's David Coulthard stalled in both Spain and Monaco because of problems with the electronics which prime the car to accelerate away at the simple push of a button or release of a lever.
Benetton, whose Renault-powered car is currently one of the slowest on the grid, plan to upgrade their engine at the French Grand Prix next month and are testing developments in the meantime.
"What is most important is to ensure a reliable weekend with a two-car finish and then we can look forward to the improvements planned for future races," said Benetton technical director Mike Gascoyne of Sunday's race in a team statement issued on Tuesday.
"We intend to use launch control at this Grand Prix for the first time and the latest developments on our traction control system, although we will naturally review the launch control, based on the results over the first two days in Germany".
Benetton, world champions in 1995 and due to change their name to Renault in 2002, have so far scored just one point from the first eight races of the season.