The Arrows Grand Prix team appear to be in a state of crisis on the eve of their home Grand Prix at Silverstone. The team are in serious financial problems and currently have to pay Cosworth $4.5m by tomorrow morning (Friday) if they are to take part in the race weekend.
The British based team missed scrutineering this afternoon but have asked the FIA for an extension until tomorrow morning at 10am. The team hope that the time will enable them to reach a solution with Niki Lauda who heads up Ford's Premier Performance Division who in turn own Cosworth Engineering.
The team’s perilous financial state is though to be partly due to a dispute between Team principle Tom Walkinshaw and co-owner Morgan Grenfell. The two parties have been in court this week trying to resolve a dispute in which Walkinshaw is trying to line up a new US-based investor. Seemingly no solution is yet in place for additional funding. "We are in the final steps of negotiation with a new investor," a team spokeswoman told the BBC today, "but that process is being held up by an injunction issued on behalf of Morgan Grenfell."
It seems unlikely that a solution will be reached while Niki Lauda hopes that his customer team will be able to raise the funds needed to pay their debt and compete at the British Grand Prix. "I did all I could to help but I have to look after the interests of Cosworth," Autosport report Lauda as saying. "If he pays the money to me then he will race - and I would like to see him race."
The team have the drivers, staff and A23 chassis' at the circuit and the future of the team all depends on whether team Principle Tom Walkinshaw is able to pay the money that he owed for the use of the Cosworth V10 engines before first practice tomorrow morning.
The London High Court heard earlier that Arrows were in "a dire financial position" and doomed "short of a miracle." For the whole team, the next 24-hours will be critical to the teams survival as if they are forced to miss the British grand prix, the team will face further financial penalties from the FIA.