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JANUARY 10, 2001

Benetton confirm Smith appointment

BENETTON confirmed on Wednesday the signing of chief designer Mark Smith from the Jordan team.

Smith has followed Jordan's former technical director Mike Gascoyne to Benetton after Jordan announced last week that Smith would be leaving the team.

"Mark has been at Jordan for 10 years since the team began," a Jordan spokesperson said. "It is a big loss for us, there is no doubt about it."

Smith's five-year contract at Benetton will not start until May 1 this year as he joins the technical staff of the Enstone-based outfit.

Benetton will run with drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Jenson Button in the 2001 championship before being re-branded as the Renault team in 2002.