Benetton has signed French F3000 ace Laurent Redon to act as test driver for the 1999 season, freeing regular pilots Alex Wurz and Giancarlo Fisichella from their extra 1998 roles.

Redon - the 1995 French F3 champion - already has many F1 miles under his belt, having tested for Minardi last season, and also brings extensive circuit experience from two seasons in the F3000 series. Although not yet a race winner in the junior category, Redon has shown enough pace and intelligence to attract the attention of several F1 teams, and is highly prized by his new employers.

(We are delighted to have signed Laurent as our test driver,) said Benetton Operations Director Joan Villadelprat, (He's an extremely talented driver, and his previous experience as a Formula One test driver means that he will be a great asset to our test programmes.)

The signing rules out any hope Briton Oliver Gavin might have had of reprising his role with the Enstone team.



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