|Team/s||Mild Seven Benetton Renault|
|Designers||Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne|
|Drivers|| 3. Jean Alesi|
4. Gerhard Berger
|Chassis||carbon-fibre and honeycomb composite structure|
|Suspension (front)||pushrod, three dampers|
|Suspension (rear)||pushrod, two dampers|
|Engines||Renault RS8/RS8B 67-degree V10s|
|Gearbox||Benetton seven-speed longitudinal semi-automatic|
|Debut||1996 Australian Grand Prix|
The Benetton B196 was the car with which the Benetton team competed in the 1996 Formula One season. It was driven by the experienced pairing of Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger, who both moved from Ferrari to replace departing 1994 and 1995 champion Michael Schumacher and his number two, Johnny Herbert.
Many thought, Benetton and Alesi included, that this could well be the Frenchman's year to seriously challenge for the title - something many had been predicting he would do since he signed for Ferrari in 1991. However, after achieving the double of Drivers' and Constructors' Championships in 1995, 1996 saw the team slip slightly from its position of eminence. The new drivers found the car difficult to drive (as it had been designed with Schumacher's unusual driving style in mind), but managed to score a series of points and podium finishes. The biggest disappointment was not winning a race for the first time since 1988, although Berger was extremely unlucky to lose the German GP when his engine failed with three laps to go.
The team lost second place in the Constructors' Championship at the final Grand Prix of the season, at which both drivers made mistakes. This allowed Ferrari to take the advantage.
This was the first Benetton car to race under Italian nationality.
Complete Formula One results
(key) (results in bold indicate pole position)
|B186 | B187 | B188 | B189 | B189B | B190 | B190B | B191 | B191B | B192 | B193 | B193B | B194 | B195 | B196 | B197 | B198 | B199 | B200 | B201|
|<center>Cars that competed in the 1996 Formula One season|
|Williams FW18 • Ferrari F310 • Benetton B196 • McLaren MP4/11 • McLaren MP4/11B • Jordan 196 • Ligier JS43 • Sauber C15 • Tyrrell 024 • Footwork FA17 • Minardi M195B • Forti FG01B • Forti FG03|