Fisichella to stay at Benetton - but Wurz will go

Giancarlo Fisichella will continue to drive for Benetton in 2001. Team boss Flavio Briatore finally confirmed what had long been suspected - and at the same time officially ended team mate Alexander Wurz's chances of saving his seat.

Fisichella to stay at Benetton - but Wurz will go

It will be Fisichella's fourth year at Benetton after graduating from Minardi - and Benetton have an option on the Italian driver for 2002.

Although he has started from pole once and finished second five times in the last four years, his first victory is proving elusive. But with the metamorphosis to Renault next year and the arrival of talented technical director Mike Gascoyne, the team will be the strongest it has been since Michael Schumacher departed in 1995.

"I am delighted to be staying with Benetton next season," said Fisichella in Hungary. "I have always had a really good feeling and understanding with the team and it has been my goal to continue here.

"Now Renault has bought the team there is a strong future and everyone is working hard to get back to the top, so I'm glad to be part of this challenge."

The deal was hammered out in London 10 days ago.

"2001 is an important season for Renault as we look to continue to strengthen the team," said Briatore.

"When I arrived at Benetton earlier this year I saw Giancarlo was a totally changed driver.

"Giancarlo has worked hard this season and produced some good results, so I believe he will be a valuable team member for next season."

There was still no news on whether, as expected, Williams ace Jenson Button will be his team mate. But it certainly will not be Wurz, who races here with a leg injured in testing.

"We have one driver scoring points at the moment," said Briatore. "It is very clear to everyone Alexander is having a difficult time, but we will support him to the end of the season.

"Next season we need someone else. We have the option of a young driver and we want to make sure we do what is best for the team.

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