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Arrows getting ready

The Arrows Formula 1 team has had a very low profile this winter, while other teams have been busy signing up drivers and unveiling new cars. There have been rumors of financial problems for the Milton Keynes team, but it seems that it will be business as usual for the team.

Alan Jenkins and his team of designers have been busy designing the team's 1995 chassis, which will be called the Footwork-Hart FA16. The Footwork company is no longer involved in Arrows, but the team has had to buy a licence to use the Footwork name in order to protect its FOCA benefits, which were won with a car bearing the Footwork name.

The new car, which is not expected to run for the first time until the first week of March, will use the brand new Hart V8 engine, which is rumored to be very small and light and yet capable of revving up to 14,500 rpm, despite not using the now fashionable pneumatic valves.

The car will be fairly conventional with a narrow nose and sidepods housing the new lateral crash protection. It will, however, feature a longitudinal transmission with an electronically-controlled selection system similar to that employed on the new Jordan.

Italian Gianni Morbidelli will drive one of the cars, probably with backing from Italian luggage-making firm Mandarina Duck. Gianni had been hoping to land the entire Beta Tools budget, but this was snapped up by Total Jordan Peugeot.

Jos Verstappen had long talks with the team before he was signed by Simtek; and so the second Arrows is expected to be driven by wealthy Japanese Takachiho Inoue, who has a vast budget for F1 this year. There is, however, an outside chance that Pedro Lamy might get the drive, although this is likely to depend entirely on money.

On the engineering front, the team has yet to replace engineer Allen McDonald, who has left to join the Paul Stewart F3000 team. Arrows talked with Steve Nichols but the American is now understood to be involved with the French Junior Team operation, working on a 1996 design project.

Inoue, incidentally, is tipped to do just one season with Arrows to get F1 experience and will then switch to the planned Supernova F1 team to drive alongside Italian Vincenzo Sospiri. Supernova team boss David Sears - who also runs the Argo racing car company - may decide to bring the Argo name into F1 with him.

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