- Driven to 16th place in 2000 Belgian Grand Prix by Pedro de la Rosa
- Currently fitted with F3000-specification Cosworth AC engine
- Cost-effective entry into BOSS GP racing and Formula One demonstration events
Few teams entered Formula One less auspiciously than Arrows. With millionaire co-founder Franco Ambrosio jailed for financial misconduct just months after their formation, the remaining management were ill-equipped to defend a subsequent lawsuit from Shadow alleging breach of copyright in respect of their DN9 design. Erstwhile Shadow sponsor Ambrosio had taken his backing and several key personnel to form Arrows in late 1977 only for the High Court to rule that the team’s FA1 design was in fact a blatant copy of Shadow’s DN9.
Over the next two decades, the team became a capable mid-field runner, with the likes of Marc Surer, Derek Warwick, and Thierry Boutsen ensuring regular points finishes, finishing 5th in the 1988 World Constructors Championship. Significant Japanese backing in the early 1990s promised much but ultimately delivered little. The team was eventually sold to Tom Walkinshaw and TWR in 1996.
After 1999’s disappointing season where the A20 yielded one World Championship point, the team turned to the A21 for 2000. Again, the car was designed by former Benetton and Ferrari designer Mike Coughlan and ex–Stewart GP aerodynamicist Eghbal Hamidy and was now powered by a Renault-derived Supertec V-10 engine instead of the Hart V-10 used the previous year. In Arrows returnee Jos Verstappen and up-and-coming Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa, the team appeared to blend youth and experience, a fact borne out when they finished in 7th and 8th places respectively in only the car’s second race in Brazil.
Chassis no. 05 was used in only two Grands Prix, at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza. At Spa, the team struggled for pace all weekend with de la Rosa qualifying the car 16th. In the race, an early stop-go penalty hampered de la Rosa’s progress, finishing in the same position he started.
At Monza, de la Rosa secured 10th on the grid, with Verstappen immediately behind. However, optimism rapidly turned to despair as a catastrophic first-lap accident eliminated seven cars—including de la Rosa—with resultant flying debris from Frentzen’s Jordan tragically claiming the life of hapless trackside marshal Paulo Ghislimberti. Monza proved to be the end of A21-05’s brief competition career, the team subsequently finishing 7th in the Constructors’ Championship. Significantly, from 34 race starts, the A21 had finished just 13 times.
Now powered by a Nicholson-McLaren–built F3000-specification Cosworth AC engine, A21-05 still boasts prodigious performance, achieved at a fraction of the cost of the original Supertec installation. It would prove an ideal and relatively cost-effective entry into contemporary Formule Libre races such as BOSS GP or, indeed, Formula One demonstration events such as those organised by FORCE F1.