Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Arrows, Interlagos, 2002

Arrows A23 (2002) pictures

The A23 was final Formula 1 car raced by Arrows, until the team collapsed during the 2002 season.

Produced under the leadership of technical director Mike Coughlan and chief designer Sergio Rinland, the A23 was strikingly different in appearance to its predecessor on account of its high nose and tall fins to which its front wings were attached.

With Cosworth engines replacing the Asiatech-branded Peugeots, the new Arrows was a promising machine. Despite the team’s increasingly parlous financial state, it was able to conduct some development, though work on the A23 was compromised by the departure of several top staff early in the year, such as McLaren-bound Coughlan.

The car made a handful of appearances in pre-season testing, initially in an interim livery. On the final design title sponsor Orange had a much more conspicuous presence, as did Red Bull through their connection to driver Enrique Bernoldi.

Early glitches with the driveshaft and starting systems were ironed out, but the power steering remained problematic up until the team was forced to stop racing. Over its final races Arrows’ situation became increasingly desperate, and often the cars did not participate in sessions in order to save money. Its participation in the Monaco round was in doubt until a late payment was made to Cosworth.

It was a good thing that happened, as the team achieved one of its two points scores that weekend. Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who replaced Jos Verstappen in the team’s line-up, took the A23 to sixth place finishes in Monaco and Spain. Bernoldi didn’t trouble the scorers.

As a result Arrows had amassed just two points by the time its season ended with five races remaining. It tied on points with Minardi and newcomers Toyota, but was classified behind both, 11th and last in the championship.

Arrows A23 pictures

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