Formula 1 20 years ago at present: Arrows’ controversial qualifying

Formula 1 has seen quite a bit in its greater than 70-year historical past, however Formula 1 drivers intentionally drive so slowly that they do not qualify, the primary class has by no means seen it on this type. Until July 20, 2002. In qualifying for the French Grand Prix, the 2 Arrows drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Enrique Bernoldi accomplished only one run with a “quick” lap. The end result: they failed the 107% rule. But why all of the farce?

Formula 1 20 years ago at present: Arrows’ monetary woes

As the 2002 season progressed, the Arrows’ monetary state of affairs, which had been struggling for a while, continued to deteriorate. Cosworth has refused engine contributions at instances to Ford and a €100 million deal that included the sale of the group to Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank, which is a shareholder within the British Formula 1 group.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen drives his A23, Photo: Sutton

As a end result, all the things at Arrows revolved round politics and cash. Not a scandal in itself, due to course corporations within the Formula 1 house should be sure that they generate sufficient capital in all circumstances to at the very least stay viable. How it occurred, nonetheless, was one other matter.

Formula 1 20 years ago at present: Arrow’s unbelievable qualifying spherical

After the group had been dealing with monetary issues for a while, the qualifying farce started on the 2002 French Grand Prix: the British racing group didn’t compete within the Grand Prix. A easy resolution? Initially, Heinz-Harald Frentzen and his teammate Enrique Bernoldi didn’t attend any of the free observe classes at Magny-Cours. In qualifying they solely accomplished one run out of three laps and clearly slowed down on the ‘quick’ lap within the last nook.

Almost nothing happened without Bernie Ecclestone's blessing, photo: Sutton
Almost nothing occurred with out Bernie Ecclestone’s blessing, picture: Sutton

Reason: The group was initially given to Bernie Ecclestone. Accordingly, with a intentionally botched qualification, they needed to verify they did not have to begin the costly race in any respect – and nonetheless gather the entry payment. But Heinz-Harald Frentzen didn’t wish to admit this after the choice, or moderately, was not allowed. “Unfortunately, we did not qualify. We tried, however it was all we may do,” Frentzen informed the premiere on the time.


(*1*)Formula 1 17 years ago today: Ralf Schumacher suffered a horrific accident
Formula 1 17 years ago at present: Ralf Schumacher suffered a horrific accident

From Formula 1 penalties and race bans

But what’s all this for? First, at the moment every group needed to commit prematurely to take part in all of the Grands Prix of the season. Under Frentzen, there was a penalty of $250,000 per automobile should you failed to satisfy that dedication — some huge cash for a financially troubled group. In addition to this, Arrows may also be sure that Formula 1 cash flows and the corresponding rights should not misplaced. After all, if the group didn’t fulfill its obligations, it may have the identical penalties because it did then.

“The precedence is to get the group again on their ft and searching positively into the long run. It’s unhappy, however we’re going dwelling and preparing for Hockenheim,” defined Arrow group boss Tom Walkinshaw of his “unconventional” method in France.

HHF was not happy during his time at Arrows, photo: LAT Images
HHF was not completely satisfied throughout his time at Arrows, picture: LAT Images

Of course, the FIA ​​noticed the foul play and acted accordingly. First, there have been rumors within the media that Arrows was going to pay a high quality, regardless of his temporary look at Magny-Cours. In the tip it was not confirmed, however Max Mosley and Co. shortly considered one thing else. If Walkinshaw repeats his Magny-Cours efficiency on the subsequent German Grand Prix, he can be banned for as much as three races, in accordance with the FIA ​​ruling on the time.

The finish of the Arrows period in Formula 1

Frentzen saw the Arrows coming to an end and left the team early, Photo: LAT Images
Frentzen noticed the Arrows coming to an finish and left the group early, Photo: LAT Images

At Hockenheim, Frentzen and Bernoldi began from P15 and 18. However, Frentzen retired after 18 laps because of a hydraulic downside. And after 30 laps, his colleague Bernoldi additionally fell sufferer to a technical downside – engine injury. It was the tip of the Arrows’ final race, and the group that had gained their first Grand Prix in 1978 had lastly made historical past. Heinz-Harald Frentzen clearly noticed it coming. Because simply 5 days after the Hockenheim Grand Prix, he unilaterally ended his dedication to Arrows.

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