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Thursday, 9 March, 2000, 15:28 GMT
Arrows team profile

The team with Australian test driver Mark Webber
The Orange Arrows team has a bright future according to the new sponsors who bring their garish colouring to the car.

There is also a new machine designed by a more experienced technical team while the Supertec engine is installed as the team abandons its earlier plan to use a self-built unit.

Jos Verstappen
Born: 4/3/72
F1 starts: 57
GP wins: 0
Pole positions: 0
World championships: 0
Mobile phone company Orange are ploughing 70m over three years into Britain's least competitive team.

Owner Tom Walkinshaw hopes the extra cash will provide a top five finish in this year's constructors' championship.

The man with money in two sports has already watched his Gloucester rugby union team move up the field to lead that sport's Allied Dunbar Premiership this season.

And while that cannot possibly happen to Arrows, Walkinshaw might have double cause for celebration in 2000 if his motor racing outfit can improve on past failures.

I think there is no reason at all why the team should not achieve a top-five position in the championship, which means being regularly in the points and finishing on the podium

Tom Walkinshaw
Like many of the lesser teams Arrows are running fast to stand still as more major motor companies enter the ring and plough millions into their rivals.

Walkinshaw would probably not admit to disappointment but it is ironic that Jaguar, who he managed to Le Mans glory in the 1980s, chose to back Jackie Stewart for F1 instead.

Pedro de la Rosa
Born: 24/2/71
F1 starts: 16
GP wins: 0
Pole positions: 0
World championships: 0
Walkinshaw's team probably need a similar involvement from a major manufacturer if they are to catch up, let alone pass their rivals.

But the race at the back of the grid has always been about convincing sponsors and suppliers of their potential.

Arrows won one point in the opening race of 1999 but failed to score in the remaining 15 races and finished joint ninth out of 11 constructors.

The team has signed Dutchman Jos Verstappen as its new driver to join Pedro de la Rosa.

Verstappen (left) with De la Rosa
Like Marc Gene at Minardi he brings sponsorship from Spain and no longer has the excuse of not knowing the circuits in his second year.

Verstappen is now a relative veteran having once partnered Michael Schumacher at Benetton.

The Dutchman also reportedly supplies a fat sponsorship cheque and also brings a reputation for mishaps.

And the team can ill-afford any unnecessary slip-ups if they are to pull away from the other backmarkers.

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See also:

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Top clubs turn to F1 boss
31 Oct 99 | Formula 1
1999 Championship standings
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Arrows may be sold to Germans
21 Oct 99 | Business Basics
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Minardi team profile
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Benetton team profile
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