- Driven by Pedro de la Rosa in 12 Grands Prix in the 2000 Formula One World Championship
- Secured three top-ten grid positions, including 5th in qualifying for the German Grand Prix
- Currently fitted with an F3000-specification Cosworth AC engine
A refinement of the 1999 A20 model, the Mike Coughlan–designed Arrows A21 benefitted from the reliable Supertec V-10 engine rather than the underpowered Hart V-10 used the previous year. Coughlan focussed on getting the centre of gravity as low as possible—aided by an ingenious “pull rod” suspension system—whilst aerodynamicist Eghbal Hamidy concentrated on honing aerodynamics and minimising drag. In testing, the car demonstrated prodigious mechanical grip and straight-line speed, both of which it would demonstrate on occasion throughout the year.
The team enjoyed a positive start to the year, with de la Rosa and Verstappen qualifying 12th and 13th for the Australian Grand Prix—ahead of the likes of Alex Wurz’s Benetton and Jenson Button’s Williams. Although both cars retired in the race itself, progress had been made, and at the second round of the championship in Sao Paulo, Verstappen finished 7th and de la Rosa was 8th.
This particular car, chassis 03, was used by de la Rosa in Sao Paulo and was his nominated race chassis until the Hungarian Grand Prix in August. Although the Spaniard’s confidence was briefly dented by consecutive non-finishes in Imola, Silverstone, and Barcelona, it was restored by a superb European Grand Prix weekend at the Nürburgring in which he converted 12th in qualifying into a 6th-place finish—securing a valuable World Championship point.
However, de la Rosa’s failure to start in Monaco was followed by consecutive retirements in Canada, France, and Austria. Worryingly, the latter two were recurrences of a gearbox problem which had spun him out of the race in Imola.
Throughout the year, the A21 had been quick in a straight line, which was to the team’s benefit at the German Grand Prix at the ultra-fast Hockenheim circuit in late July. Having qualified 5th—behind the McLarens of Coulthard and Hakkinen, Schumacher’s Ferrari, and Fisichella’s Benetton—de la Rosa finished 6th, setting the sixth-fastest race lap in the process. Conversely, A21-03’s final race at the sinuous Hungaroring circuit could not have been more different, a low-key 15th place on the grid resulting in an eventual 16th (and last) place at the finish.
Chassis A21-03 is currently presented with the original Supertec V-10 engine having been replaced at some stage with a F3000-specification Cosworth AC unit for the purposes of practicality and economy. Resplendent in its original ‘Orange’ livery, it represents a rare opportunity to acquire a highly significant and ferociously quick modern-generation Formula One car which would doubtless be a very welcome entrant in the numerous contemporary Formule Libre and demonstration events for which it is eligible.