SEPTEMBER 25, 2000
Zonta and Arrows
ARROWS had been expected to announce in Indianapolis that it will keep the same driver line-up next season but there appear to be problems between the team and Jos Verstappen. "The drivers are smart, but some of their managers are a little bit slow in negotiating," Walkinshaw said at Indianapolis. "The process tends to drag out a little bit. But it gives them an excuse to come to all the races. So there's another three to go. By the end of the season it will be fixed."
Walkinshaw was spotted on several occasions during the Indianapolis weekend talking with Ricardo Zonta's manager. The Brazilian has been mentioned as a possible McLaren test driver but that job seems to be going to Alexander Wurz and Zonta's only real help will be if McLaren decides to have two fulltime test drivers. The Arrows drive is unlikely to make Zonta a frontrunner but it is at least a job racing so that he will be able to keep his name in the limelight.
Much depends on the team's finances because Zonta does not have any sponsorship money behind him, but according to Arrows commercial man Andy King the team is planning to build on its existing relationships. "These sponsors will be integrating the team as part of their business and marketing strategies for next year," he said.
The team's relationship with Orange appears to have cooled considerably with the number of Orange personnel at races having dropped off noticeably at recent events. The mobile phone company is understood to have a three-year deal with the team but there have been suggestions that they would like this to be terminated early. Orange does not seem to have lost interest in F1 in general as the company had considerable trackside signage at Indianapolis.
Walkinshaw revealed at Indianapolis that he will soon have a new chief executive officer for the TWR Group which will mean he will have more time available to run the team.
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