Australian GP: Arrows preview

Melbourne (Albert Park) The OrangeArrows team arrives in Australia this week for the start of the 2002 season and its 100th Grand Prix since Team Principal, Tom Walkinshaw, bought into Arrows in 1996. After an intensive period of design, build...

Melbourne (Albert Park)

The OrangeArrows team arrives in Australia this week for the start of the 2002 season and its 100th Grand Prix since Team Principal, Tom Walkinshaw, bought into Arrows in 1996. After an intensive period of design, build and testing, the all-new A23 is ready for action, in the hands of Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Enrique Bernoldi.

The stunning part-street circuit in Albert Park utilises the city streets and, as it is only used for racing once a year, the track is particularly dirty at the beginning of the weekend. By Qualifying, the dust clears and beneath is a mainly smooth track that is kind on tyres. Made up of medium-speed turns, with some quick chicanes, the track is quite hard on brakes and famous for a high rate of attrition due to the hot temperatures.

Newly-signed Heinz-Harald Frentzen is settling in well with the team and is optimistic for the season ahead…

“ I’m very much looking forward to starting the new season with my new team. The whole package looks good and the team is full of very good, professional people. After only a few hundred kilometres of testing we still have a lot of sorting to do on the car but I am convinced it has potential. I’m optimistic that after the first three fly-aways we can start making a noticeable improvement with more time to test different chassis combinations. This is our first chance to see how competitive we’re going to be but the real test for everyone in Melbourne is reliability so I think if we can finish the race we will all be happy.”

Enrique Bernoldi is pleased with the new car and is keen to start racing again…

“ Last year was my first trip to Australia and I loved every minute of it. I feel more confident now I have a year of F1 behind me. I have learned a lot by competing with top drivers and of course I know the OrangeArrows team well now. I’m looking forward to racing the A23 as it is definitely a marked improvement on the A22. The Albert Park circuit is a good challenge with some interesting corners and some overtaking opportunities. I just hope I have a longer race this year!”

Mike Coughlan, OrangeArrows Technical Director, is happy with the team’s work over the winter months…

“ As we decided on an all-new car for 2002 we’ve had limited testing time but I think it will be a benefit in the long term. It’s impossible to predict our competitiveness. We’re pretty happy with our testing progress but we’ll have to see where we are on the timesheets after Qualifying. I think the A23 will give us a solid platform from which to attack the new season and we are all eager to get stuck in. Obviously reliability is always an issue in Melbourne but it is the same for everybody.”

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Enrique Bernoldi , Heinz-Harald Frentzen