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  Friday, 13 September, 2002, 08:45 GMT 09:45 UK
Arrows to miss Monza
The Arrows team on the Magny-Cours circuit
The Arrows team cars failed to turn up in Monza
The struggling Arrows Formula One team have escaped formal punishment from the sport's governing body, the FIA, despite missing their third consecutive race.

Arrows look set to miss this weekend's Italian Grand Prix - but the FIA has decided against kicking them out of F1 while the team are still struggling to put together a survival package.

The FIA said it had no proof that Arrows' absence was due to insolvency and it would wait until the situation was clearer before considering any action.


The FIA has no hard evidence that Arrows' absence is due to insolvency
FIA statement

F1's rules dictate that any team missing a race because of insolvency will lose all its rights.

But an FIA statement said: "The FIA have noted the continuing failure of Orange Arrows to participate in recent Formula One events.

"If failure was due to insolvency Arrows would lose its rights under the Concorde Agreement [the secret document by which F1 is governed].

"However, at present the FIA has no hard evidence that Arrows' absence is due to insolvency rather than to some other cause.

"In the circumstances, the FIA intends to wait until various negotiations and proceedings relating to Arrows have been concluded before considering any formal action."

Tom Walkinshaw's cash-strapped outfit also failed to race in Hungary and Belgium, prompting a request for an explanation by the FIA.

Walkinshaw claimed the paperwork to seal a deal selling the team to an American billionaire could not be completed in time.

Tom Walkinshaw looks pensive about the future of his team
Tom Walkinshaw still hopes to save his team

But he has yet to explain why - if the reason Arrows are not racing is not because of a lack of funds - they continue to miss events when the stakes are so high.

Walkinshaw will likely have to come up with another explanation if his cars drop out of the Italian race, further testing the wearing patience of F1 chiefs.

A court hearing into the team's future has been postponed for 28 days and the potential loss of hundreds of jobs means the FIA have so far been lenient.

But four other parties - including former Arrows racer Heinz-Harald Frentzen - are understood to be pursuing winding-up orders and Dutch driver Jos Verstappen is also claiming 1.7m in compensation.

It is understood that the FIA is waiting for the legal issues to be cleared up by the courts before taking its own action.


Road to nowhere

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