JANUARY 11, 1999
Federal Express flying away?
We have heard suggestions that the company will switch to a rival F1 team but we have also heard that it may be leaving F1 to take over from 555 as sponsor of the Prodrive Subaru team in the World Rally Championship. This would make some sense as David Richards was the boss of Benetton and can offer a much bigger car - and instant penetration into the Asian markets where rallying is as big as F1. One way or the other an announcement is expected shortly...
There is some good news for Benetton, however, with the announcement that the team will use Frenchman Laurent Redon as its test driver in 1999. Redon is the son of Josette Zannier, who co-founded the children's clothing and shoe companies Z and Kickers. Roger Zannier - Redon's uncle - was involved as a Benetton sponsor in the Flavio Briatore era.
Redon was French Formula 3 Champion in 1995 and raced Formula 3000 in 1996 and 1997 before becoming Minardi test driver last year.