The Arrows Grand Prix International team was founded in 1977, by Italian financier Franco Ambrosio, Alan Rees, Jackie Oliver, Dave Wass and Tony Southgate (from whose surnames' initials the team took its name) when Rees, Oliver, Wass and Southgate left the Shadow team.
The team was started in Milton Keynes, England and produced their first Formula One car in just 53 days. Arrows signed up Riccardo Patrese who scored points in the US West Grand Prix at Long Beach in the car's third race.
Ambrosio left the team after having been jailed for financial irregularities in Italy. Shadow sued for copyright infringement, claiming that the Arrows FA/1 was just a copy of the Shadow DN9. The team decided to build a new car called the A1. This was completed in 52 days and appeared the day after the High Court in London banned the team from racing the FA/1.
Arrows Grand Prix International
In September 1978, in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Patrese was involved in an accident which claimed the life of Ronnie Peterson and he was banned from racing at the following race (the United States Grand Prix) by his fellow drivers. In 1981, Patrese scored the team's only Formula One pole position in Long Beach, which he led until retiring with mechanical problems. Arrows finished joint eighth in the Constructors Championship that year.
In 1984 with BMW M12 turbo engines and sponsorship from cigarette company Barclay things got much better. That year they were ninth in the Constructors Championship and eighth in 1985. At the 1985 San Marino Grand Prix, Thierry Boutsen finished third behind Alain Prost and Elio de Angelis. However, after the race, Prost was disqualified because their cars were 2 kg underweight, giving Boutsen the second place. In 1987, BMW removed support and the engines were badged Megatron, but the British team had their best seasons yet, finising sixth in 1987 and fifth in 1988 (the final year for turbocharged engines) thanks to frequent points finishes by drivers Eddie Cheever and Derek Warwick.
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