Benetton in Formula 1 is almost an icon of an era. Italian clothes, colourful and eye-catching cars, Flavio Briatore and Renault engines. One of those combinations that are basically a picture of a particular moment so clearly that it even surprises. And although you couldn’t say that Benetton is much more, you can say that it was more than that. At a time when it was extremely difficult to get to Formula 1 and settle, Benetton came, settled, won and climbed to the top.

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    History of a brand

    United Colors of Benetton. The inscription on the new B186 and the coloured strips on the bonnet along with the green and white from various zones gave the new Formula 1 team a captivating image. After several years as sponsors and being in 1985 with Toleman, the Italian family who owned the famous clothing brand bought the equipment and renamed it. A bold advertising movement that started a small legend in Formula 1. From the Toleman-Hart of 1985 to the Benetton-BMW in 1986 and taking advantage of the fact that both engines had the same architecture, the change was painless.

    The B186 owed a lot to its predecessor of the Toleman era, although changes had to be made to make the chassis stronger to support the enormous power of the BMW engine. There was also a serious refinement of the car and especially its aerodynamic part in order to be more competitive. Gradually, during its first season in the premier class, the team evolved and with new parts were improved. There was also an important improvement on the part of Pirelli, who was wearing the Benetton of Gerhard Berger and Teo Fabi.

    Fabi got two poles in a row in Austria and Italy, although, whims of fate, he didn’t manage to finish either race (and in fact didn’t even lead a single lap). It was Berger who scored the team’s first victory. He did it in Mexico, taking advantage of the enormous durability of the Pirelli, which allowed him to complete the race without passing through pits unlike his rivals. Benetton had made his mark clear and although a sixth final position was relatively weak, a victory and a good evolution called for optimism.

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