Honda website
Honda website

AUGUST 4, 2002

Why did Frentzen leave Arrows?

It is being widely reported that Heinz-Harald Frentzen is unlikely to race at the Hungaroring for another team - and that begs an obvious question: why then did Frentzen leave Arrows?

While it is entirely possible that there were problems over money it seems strange that Frentzen would walk out of the deal at Arrows simply for that reason as the team would have given him the opportunity to show off his skills in the races ahead - which is important as Heinz-Harald negotiates a drive for next season.

Frentzen's manager Monty Field says that "something came up for us and it was just best that we ended our association with Arrows". He refused to comment on what Frentzen intends to do but there is clearly a deal in the pipeline. There are still two weeks before the Hungarian Grand Prix and thus there is time for the situation to develop and we would be surprised if Frentzen does not appear somewhere else very soon. Right now the details may not be finalized but it is more likely that the details involved are those which need to be done to clear the way for Frentzen - otherwise he would not have left Arrows.

When all things are considered the most likely destination for Frentzen is not Jordan, nor Sauber, nor Toyota. It is Jaguar Racing. The team has been drifting this year with little leadership from Eddie Irvine. Frentzen knows how competitive the Cosworth V10 engine can be and so can give valuable input into what is wrong with the Jaguar chassis. The management of Jaguar Racing (for the moment at least) are German-speaking and the company's major target market for the Formula 1 program is Germany. From Frentzen's point of view Jaguar represents a major automobile manufacturer and a potentially long-term deal for the future. Things can hardly get worse at Jaguar and so Frentzen's arrival at the team would be seen as the start of a recovery and his presence might help Jaguar Racing to attract better engineers in the future. Much of this is speculation but of all the possibilities this makes the most sense.

And one keeps coming back to the fact that if there was nothing going on Frentzen would have stayed where he was.