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  Saturday, 20 July, 2002, 12:43 GMT 13:43 UK
Troubled Arrows go home
Arrows boss Tom Walkinshaw is sent a message by fans at the French Grand Prix
Fans are not convinced Arrows will survive
The troubled Arrows team have headed back to their base in the UK after taking only a minimal part in qualifying for the French Grand Prix.

The team's future remains in serious doubt after boss Tom Walkinshaw decided not to let his cars take part in Sunday's race.

Drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Enrique Bernoldi did just three laps each on Saturday afternoon to ensure the team was seen to make an effort to compete in the event.

But they did not go fast enough to qualify and that was the last running they did all weekend.


In the end I think it will be OK but it's a long and drawn out process which has unfortunately been done in the public gaze
Tom Walkinshaw
Arrows boss

Walkinshaw said: "Unfortunately we were unable to qualify either car.

"Our priority has to be to get this team back on its feet and in a position where we can build a positive future. It's sad but we'll go home and prepare for Hockenheim (the next race)."

The Scot is trying to resolve difficulties with the team's co-owner, the investment bank Morgan Grenfell.

The team are desperately short of funds, and so running is being kept to a minimum.

The question now is whether what Arrows have done will constitute a genuine attempt to compete in the event, according to the sport's governing body, the FIA.

If it does not, it will cost the team their prize money next year - and possibly even their place in the championship.

However, FIA president Max Mosley said at the British GP that one lap in qualifying would be enough to claim genuine participation.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis believes Arrows have done enough.


It is a very bad feeling to be here sitting around waiting
Enrique Bernoldi

He said: "What the Arrows team did was the minimum amount to actually qualify as having competed in the event.

"That's quite important because everyone in the pit lane knows that they are in negotiations to sell the team and that there is a significant penalty laid down... for missing an event.

"What they achieved during the event was the avoidance of that penalty and therefore help in selling the team.

"The important thing is that the team survives and if that is the case I think we can come to terms with the downside," Dennis added.

Arrows completely missed Friday's practice.

Walkinshaw said on Friday that the lack of running had been caused by ongoing negotiations about the team's future.

Walkinshaw said: "There are negotiations going on in London with new investors and we were advised to do very little.

"There are negotiations going on with both Morgan Grenfell and the investors but they are not in contact with each other, that's being done through a third party.

"In the end I think it will be OK but it's a long and drawn out process which has unfortunately been done in the public gaze."

Morgan Grenfell took Arrows to court before the British Grand Prix two weeks ago, an intervention that brought the team's crisis to a head.

The bank objected to a deal Walkinshaw was trying to cut with the soft drinks company Red Bull, which is owned by Dietrich Mateschitz.

The Austrian wants to buy into the team and rename it Red Bull Team USA.

Former British American Racing boss Craig Pollock has also been linked to a possible buy-out.

Arrows' financial problems hit the team in another way on Friday when race organisers initially refused to confirm the eligibility of driver Enrique Bernoldi.

Motorsport's governing body, the FIA, would not allow the Brazilian to race unless a fine for speeding in the pit lane at the Canadian Grand Prix in June was paid.

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