[The salvation story behind Benetton’s emergence as an F1 team
The accepted wisdom in record books is that the Benetton Formula 1 team was born in 1986. Not so, according to those on the inside. During 1985, the team remained Toleman to the outside world, but purely in name alone. The new sponsor that introduced a novel car livery based on international flags was now at the helm – it just didn’t shout about it.
“It stopped being Toleman at the end of 1984 and became Benetton from the start of 1985,” asserts Alex Hawkridge, who took responsibility for a traumatic and far from certain transfer of power over the winter and deep into the start of the new season.