Russell Flavio, Benneton, Michael discussed on The Autosport Podcast
Well, now Ross was was going that was a known thing. It was Rory. We weren't quite sure about the time. But some. Rawson flavio. I was chief engineer time. Russell flavio. But when you may to to become technical director when when Ross left, and I really didn't want to do the I had the best job and stone. Why did I want anything else? But they. Persuaded me that was the right thing to do. Which in retrospect, I'm so glad I did too. But then when Michael said, well, what about for aria? I said, you know, taking on this challenge. And if I go to for our I'm just going to be a rice engineer, and I've got a chance Benneton being technical director. And things I wanted to do lots things add let so much from Ross wonderful guy to work for Assad Rory with me had been my mental for really since. I started in in Formula one even a little bit before, you know, he'd been a friend knocker coal. So I I was absolutely determined. I was gonna make Benneton work. Without Michael not to me was much more interesting in a much harder challenge than going to for Ari repeating it all every game with a red shirt on instead of blue shirt. I didn't seem should traction in that when I guess we talked about. But it's big it's ready to become a championship. So she Maccabi the Rajoy always after that. They was the right team. But with not necessarily the the right drivers. Well, I it was a bit more than that. Because to be honest. We then went into an era where we were really struggling for money. I remember. As you when you were in the championship. You have see reap the benefits of it. Both in terms of the the the money that used to get from from Bernie in those days and. And the sponsorship, and I remember we thought long and hard about what we should be doing with it. And essentially that money went into building Wintel attend Stein. Presenters we moved into the late nineties. It really was was difficult. And it's funny. When people talk about the cost of gang racing these days, which. Yes, they are incredibly high. But people talk about the cost of engines as part of it now in the late nineties. I remember signing off on seventeen million pounds for engines, the soup tech engine, and at the end of the getting another Bill because we done more testing than we plan to do. So you know, it was really expensive going going racing in in those days and Benneton being a private company better. I successful very wealthy company. They weren't prepared to start pouring money into formula. One in the way for aria that time particularly were doing so becoming more and more difficult and the late nineties became very much about. Really? I think I could see the writing on the wall. And I knew that only the only future we could have was to become a manufacturer's team. And so that that was very much ambition in ninety eight ninety nine to two hope that the manufacturer will come along bias because Reynaud was the the sort of logical woman using their engines they were making noises about coming into to Formula one Flavio Briatore he was not involved with the team at that time, the Benneton family put their own people in and move Flavio on Flavio wanted to get back. He was the sort of middleman between Benetton and Renault. And so that's the way it went. But I think to answer your question. No until until we became a manufacturer team built the team up again to what was required by the mid two thousand which was. An immensely different team to mid nineties in terms of size in terms of ability in terms of equipment until we got to that we weren't going to another championship. Whereas for our with ad. They were ready. So very logical thing for Michael today. Of course, it in the end, it was it was that renting yourself nonetheless that not throwing she backed off the perch. Yes. Irony in that isn't an. Well, thank you very much in Science Fantastic. Tom your rights the benefit somebody worked so closely with him stalk about him. So thanks very much persimmons. Pleasure fascinating stuff. From Pat Simmons really interesting to see what it was like working up close with with Markelle Schumacher, Glenn. How do you think we should look back those Benetton years?.