In 2002 after a couple of races Orange Arrows couldn’t pay its bills any more. No money to pay means in the Formula One a goodbye and thanks for be on the grid for all those years. That’s how the Formula One works. However there have been a lot of speculations of the stillborn Arrows A24. Did the team already start with designing the new Arrows A24 or didn’t they ?
After some discussions I had with a former Arrows employee about the Arrows A24 whether it existed or not I have to come to the conclusion now that the car probably wasn’t in a serious designing state. Why I came to the conclusion? The discussion started a few years ago when I did my first research for the Phoenix Grand Prix Team. I came across some information about the unraced Prost AP05 and there was also written about the Arrows A24. On the former F1rejects Forum I started a topic about it. And the result was that there might have been some blue prints of the A24, however the best answer on it is that if they existed it would be only from some wings or bargeboards. Not for the chassis of the new Arrows for the 2003 season.
I remember me clearly that the Dutch Formula One media back then mentioned, after the Prost assets affair with Phoenix and Walkinshaw, that Paul Stoddart had bought basically bought all the chassis, spart parts etc. of the Arrows A23. But it seemed also the Arrows A24 designs. Jos Verstappen tested the “new” Minardi PS04 at Mugello. The Minardi PS04 was basically the Minardi PS03B with parts of the Arrows A23 on it to see if they could improve the PS03B. After the testing the team would have sad that they consider to use the designs of the A24 for their new Minardi. Multiple media published the news, however no one seems to know if the team really had blue prints for the new Arrows.
Since it seems to be impossible to come in contact with Paul Stoddart, and with Tom Walkinshaw passing away a couple of years ago, i have to conclude that the A24 maybe never existed not even on paper, or as a true design. Probably Sergio Rinland and Mike Coughlan discussed a couple of times how they should design the Arrows for 2003. For now the Arrows A24 is debunked until I have evidence that the car did clearly exist.