Honda website
Honda website

SEPTEMBER 10, 2002

Arrows will not be at Monza

Although it is yet to be officially confirmed Tom Walkinshaw is understood to have told Arrows staff that the team will not be at Monza this weekend. Walkinshaw said that this will not create a problem and that the transfer of ownership of the team continues to go ahead. There is considerable scepticism in F1 circles that the sale is ever going to happen and it seems very unlikely that the Formula 1 authorities are going to allow Arrows to get away with missing yet another race.

But there may be other agendas involved in all this. Arrows has driven a cart and horses through the existing rules of force majeure, making a mockery of the Concorde Agreement. But it is in the interest of some that the Concorde Agreement is shown up to be a useless document and that a new structure and new agreement is needed for the years ahead. Thus it might be seen as useful that Arrows has made a mockery of the existing rules. Both the FIA and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone made it clear in Belgium that they are not impressed by the antics of the team but to date no action has been taken.

While all this is going on, Arrows has survived (at least for the moment) a winding-up order from Champion Recruitment Limited. This legal sidestep was achieved by paying Champion the money owed. This may seem to be a clever move but there are serious implications involved in giving one creditor preferential treatment over another - and that could cause serious difficulties for the directors of the team if Arrows is declared insolvent. To have taken such a step in a radical move but one which suggests that Walkinshaw is confident that he will get out of the current mess.

The danger of a winding up order has not gone away however as there are eight other creditors who are demanding payment. They are headed by Heinz-Harald Frentzen who is believed to be asking for $115,000. Cosworth Racing's bill is believed to be in the region of $2.5m and Jos Verstappen is thought to have a demand of at least $1.5m. There are also five other creditors who have joined together to create a new winding-up petition.