Orange Arrows officially launched the A23 today in Melbourne at Albert Park, a mere couple of days before the opening race of the season. Arrows had little on track time during winter testing as they elected to sit out January to concentrate on ...
Orange Arrows officially launched the A23 today in Melbourne at Albert Park, a mere couple of days before the opening race of the season. Arrows had little on track time during winter testing as they elected to sit out January to concentrate on designing, manufacturing and testing the brand new car for 2002.
Drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Enrique Bernoldi unveiled the 2002 contender to display the new livery for the upcoming season which is the familiar black and orange. The A23, which houses a Cosworth V10 engine, was designed by a team led by Technical Director Mike Coughlan.
"There were not many regulation changes this year but we decided to produce a brand new car in order to eliminate the problems we had last year and of course make performance improvements." Coughlan said. "The design process has been very much concentrated on downforce levels, ride height sensitivity and the overall aero map. The biggest change visible to the untrained eye is the height of the nose.
"The A22 performed well at the high-speed circuits, the chassis reliability was remarkable and it was an easy car to set-up so we have worked hard to carry those strengths through to the A23. We have had another engine change to deal with but we are used to that! I would estimate that it adds another month to the design process but we were forewarned of the change and have struck up a great working relationship with Cosworth so the transition has run smoothly."
"The entire factory has put in a lot of hours in the last few months," said Team Principal, Tom Walkinshaw. "With the test ban in December we had to concentrate our efforts on off-track testing, the bulk of which was done in our wind tunnel in Bedford. We decided against running an interim car in January as we wanted to concentrate fully on the new chassis and I think this will pay off in the long run.
"I've seen the A23 running and talked to the drivers, the designers and the engineers and so far the signs are good but we won't know for sure until we get to Melbourne. Our hope is that we can continue where we left off in 2000 and put the 2001 season behind us. We're very pleased with our new relationship with Cosworth and delighted to be carrying on with Bridgestone as we have always had a very good relationship."
Enrique Bernoldi was the first driver to shake down the A23 in the UK on February 3rd and although he has not had much testing time he thinks the A23 is more powerful than last year's car.
"I have only done a small amount of running but I can certainly feel the increase in power over last year's car," he said. "The car is much more stable with the extra downforce we can run now. I am really looking forward to the racing this season as I learned a lot during my rookie year and now it's time to put everything I have learned into practice."
Heinz-Harald Frentzen joined the team on February 7th after the shakedown of the new car. He tested the A23 at Valencia on the same day.
"We have made some progress, but we are still behind a little bit," Frentzen said. "We have had some reliability problems over the winter testing...but we will try to finish the race and have a good result. Where we are at the moment, it's difficult to say. I think the team is very much motivated, we have, basically, a good bunch of people there and it's time to put it all together."