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Arrows have only 6 hours to prove there future! [03 Sep 2002|11:14pm]
[ mood | rushed ]

The Arrows Grand Prix team has until 18:00BST to prove that it has a buyer for it's team, or it is to be thrown out of the 2002 Formula 1 World Championship. The FIA gave the Arrows team the news before the Belgian Grand Prix weekend, after a second successive race was missed by the financially troubled outfit.

Arrows have missed three of the last four rounds of the championship, although they insist this is as a result of legal advice as they negotiated with potential purchasers. The FIA are now looking for evidence of this and have asked for it immediately.

"Enough was enough maybe a few races ago," Bernie Ecclestone said prior to the Belgium Grand Prix.

"So we'll see what happens now. They are saying they are not here because it's force majeure, it's out of their control, and if they can prove that, maybe they've got chances to hang on.

"But if they can't, they probably won't go to Monza [the next race]."

An FIA spokesman told the BBC: "We've asked Arrows for a detailed explanation about their state of health following certain decisions over the past few weeks. We will then decide which position to adopt.

"[Punishment] could go from a simple fine to being banned from the [F1] circuit.

"But before any decision is taken we must consider the large number of people who are employed with the team."

Arrows arrived in Spa claiming that they were on the verge of selling the team to an American investor and that as soon as the deal was reached, they would hit the track. The deal proved too far away and the team returned home on Friday night.

The next few hours could determine the future of the Arrows F1 team.

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Frentzen returns to Switzerland [03 Sep 2002|11:21pm]
[ mood | optimistic ]

The 35-year-old German driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen made an emotional return to his Formula One racing roots at Hinwil in Switzerland today (Tuesday), for his first official engagement as a Sauber driver for the 2003 season since his recent signing for the team.

Frentzen was meeting the Press and the team at their Swiss headquarters, renewing old acquaintances with team members with whom he started his Formula One career in 1994, having previously driven for the Sauber-Mercedes World Championship winning sports car team in 1990.

During his three years with the fledgling Sauber Formula One team from 1994-1996, Frentzen scored 29 World Championship points for the team, an individual total that has still to be beaten by any other Sauber driver.

Frentzen is looking forward to adding to that total in 2003. After driving for Williams, Jordan, Prost and Arrows in the interim, he is delighted to be returning to the team that launched his Formula One career.

"Ever since I left Sauber to go to Williams in 1997 Peter has been trying to get me to return to the team," he said. "Even when I left, I said to them that I will be coming back one day. Now the timing is right. It did not take me very long after we talked to make up my mind that Sauber was where I wanted to be for the coming season.

"They have done a great job over the past few years and are now one of the most respected teams in the paddock. They have shown they have what it takes to take on the top teams and with the experience we have both gained over the past six years, I am sure we can make our 'old team' even more effective in 2003 than it was when I last drove for the them."

Team principal Peter Sauber is equally content to have Frentzen back in the Sauber family. "He is not only one of the fastest drivers in Formula One, he also knows how to move a team forward. Furthermore, he has proven the past year that he is still highly motivated. His performance this season impressed us deeply," he commented.

During Frentzen's visit to Hinwil, Peter Sauber gave him a tour of the team's impressive facility including the new 100 percent scale wind tunnel that is being built alongside the main factory.

"Things have certainly changed a lot since I was last at Hinwil. As well as my passion for driving the cars I love developing them as well, so I cannot wait for the new wind tunnel to be finished as I have lots of ideas for them to try out," smiled Frentzen , who gained a reputation for his interest in aerodynamics when he was with the team before.

Frentzen was officially presented to all the members of the Sauber team, many of whom needed no introduction having worked with him in the past. "Normally it takes a while before you feel at home in a new team, but coming to Sauber is like coming home for me and I cannot wait to start working on next year's car," commented Frentzen, who did not have long to wait.

After the formalities of the morning, Frentzen's afternoon was already taken up with long talks with Technical Director Willy Rampf, along with other members of the design staff, as they discussed the various design features of next year's car. Rampf, who worked closely with Frentzen in the past, is looking forward to working with him in the future. "We expect that he will bring a lot of experience to help us, especially in the set-up of the car," he said.

Meanwhile, Frentzen is expected to test the current Sauber soon after the end of the season to familiarize himself with the various control systems that form a major part of modern grand prix cars. "The team will have to make considerable modifications to one of their cars to get me to fit, as I am quite a bit taller than the current drivers, so I will probably not drive before December," he explained.

When it happens, it will be exactly six years since Frentzen last drove a Sauber

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Arrows can't build Moscow grand prix [03 Sep 2002|11:43pm]
[ mood | amused ]

Russia's hopes of staging a Grand Prix in Moscow have suffered yet another set-back, this time from Russian president Vladimir Putin. The Russian president says that he would rather see the race held in St Petersburg than Moscow, fuelling rumours that the location may switch.

St Petersburg's mayor Vladimir Yakovlev has now launched a rival bid for the F1 race. Moscow has run into trouble concerning it's own bid, the engineering firm paid to create the track is owned by TWR, the same company as the troubled Arrows team.

The championship is set to arrive in Russia in 2004, but so far there are no plans for a location, let alone building work under way

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