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  Article Image gallery (14) FA1-1 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:1978
Numbers built:4
Designed by:Tony Southgate and David Wass
Successor:Arrows A1 Cosworth
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:January 02, 2014
Download: All images
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Click here to download printer friendly versionTowards the end of 1977, a group of disgruntled prominent employees left the Shadow Formula 1 team. These were Alan Rees, Jackie Oliver, Dave Wass and Tony Southgate. Named after their initials for the name, they immediately set up shop as Arrows. In order to qualify for benefits like travelling fees, the first Arrows had to be ready at the start of the new season. This left the team less than two months for the design and construction of what would become the 'Arrows FA1'.

In fact, they needed only 53 days to create the very first Arrows F1 racer. Designed by Southgate and Wass, the FA1 featured a straightforward aluminium monocoque chassis. The front suspension sported in-board mounted springs while at the rear the Lockheed discs brakes hugged the Hewland gearbox. Not surprisingly, the car was powered by the readily available Cosworth DFV V8 engine. Liveried in striking Warsteiner colours, the FA1 was equipped with a simple body that unusually for the time still featured a nose-mounted air-intake.

Signed to drive for Arrows in their maiden season was talented young Italian Riccardo Patrese and veteran German Rolf Stommelen. Patrese debuted the new car at the second round of the year in Brazil where he placed an impressive tenth. The FA1 was not very well received by the Shadow team as they claimed it had more than a passing resemblance to that team's new DN9, which had been designed by Southgate before he left. Although, he did not take any drawings with him, Shadow also claimed ownership of the intellectual property in his head and challenged Arrows in court.

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  Article Image gallery (14) FA1-1 Specifications