Benetton B197

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Benetton B197
Wurz at Silverstone.jpg
CategoryFormula One
Designer(s)Pat Symonds
Nick Wirth
Technical specifications
Chassiscarbon-fibre and honeycomb composite structure
Suspension (front)double wishbones, pushrod, triple damper
Suspension (rear)double wishbones, pushrod, double damper
EngineRenault RS9, RS9A and RS9B 71-degree V10s
TransmissionBenetton six-speed longitudinal semi-automatic
Competition history
Notable entrantsMild Seven Benetton Renault
Notable drivers7. France Jean Alesi
8. Austria Gerhard Berger
8. Austria Alexander Wurz
Debut1997 Australian Grand Prix
Constructors' Championships0
Drivers' Championships0

The Benetton B197 was the car with which the Benetton Formula One team competed in the 1997 Formula One season. It was driven by Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger, who were both in their second season with the team. However, Berger was forced to sit out three races in the middle of the season due to sinus problems, and compatriot Alexander Wurz made his F1 début by deputising for him, starting at the 1997 Canadian Grand Prix.

The car was a direct development of the B196, from which both drivers had found difficult to extract maximum performance in 1996. The B197 proved competitive at nearly every race, but only scored one win when Berger made his faultless return to the cockpit at Hockenheim. The main problem with the car was its inability to bring its tyres up to temperature on low-grip circuits, particularly in qualifying. However, Berger and Alesi did secure one pole position each during the course of the season. By the end of the season, it was clear that Benetton would adopt a new driver line-up for 1998, with Berger retiring and Alesi moving to Sauber.

The team eventually finished third in the Constructors' Championship, with 67 points. The Benetton B197 can still be seen competing in the EuroBoss series.

Jean Alesi driving the B197 at the 1997 Italian Grand Prix.

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Points WCC
1997 Mild Seven Benetton Renault Renault V10 G AUS BRA ARG SMR MON ESP CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA AUT LUX JPN EUR 67 3rd
Jean Alesi Ret 6 7 5 Ret 3 2 5 2 6 11 8 2 Ret 2 5 13
Gerhard Berger 4 2 6 Ret 9 10 1 8 6 7 10 4 8 4
Alexander Wurz Ret Ret 3


  • AUTOCOURSE 1997–98, Henry, Alan (ed.), Hazleton Publishing Ltd. (1997) ISBN 978-1-874557-47-0

External links[edit]