AUGUST 29, 2002
Red Bull buying Arrows?
The word in the paddock in Belgium is that the new investor in Arrows is none other than Red Bull and that the original plan for Arrows to be transformed into Red Bull Team USA will now go ahead as originally planned. What is not clear is how a settlement has been agreed with Morgan Grenfell as up to now the bank has refused to do any deals on money. If the buyer has agreed to pay Morgan Grenfell the money it wanted (believed to be $30m) the ban on the sale of the team could be lifted and then all that would remain would be for the team to settle the debts with creditors - a minimum of $15m - and an arrangement would be needed to head off the winding-up order that is coming on September 10. The other issue would be payment for the engines - another $3-4m - and the outstanding salaries which have not been paid.
Once all this was settled it would just be a question of hoping that there will no challenge on the question of force majeure as Arrows's attempt to claim that status for missing Hungary was tenuous at best. In all probability most of the F1 teams will not challenge the issue (thus creating a worrying precedent) but the fact that Arrows could score a point and push Minardi out of the top 10 teams might force the small team to embark on a legal challenge.
If all these hurdles can be overcome, then the team will go ahead with Tom Walkinshaw back in charge.