1986 had been another mediocre year for Arrows due to chassis woes and to cap it all their engine supplier BMW announced they would be ceasing to supply customer engines in 1987 followed by a complete pull-out for 1988. However, Arrows boss Jackie Oliver scored a coup when, with the financial assistance of sponsor USF&G, he persuaded BMW to continue supplying Arrows under the badge of the financial giant’s subsidiary Megatron. The engines would be tuned by the team’s usual go-to man, Swiss engineer Heini Mader and the new A10 chassis was drawn by Ross Brawn and all hoped it would prove an improvement on last year’s A9.
Arrows had more reasons to be hopeful, though, with a cracking driver lineup of Derek Warwick and Eddie Cheever, both born racers and experienced hands.
17. Derek Warwick
The affable Brit had looked like a star in the making while driving for Toleman in the early 1980s, but a move to a Renault team in decline turned out to be a disastrous mistake, compounded when he rejected an offer from Williams, who hired Mansell instead, and he was left without a drive when the team pulled out of F1 at the end of 1985 and Ayrton Senna vetoed his proposed move to Lotus. He filled his time racing for Tom Walkinshaw’s Jaguar team in the World Sportscar championship until Bernie Ecclestone gave him the nod to replace Elio de Angelis at Brabham for the second half of the season.
18. Eddie Cheever
Like Warwick, Cheever had been the victim of what turned out to be a bad team move – in his case to the Alfa Romeo team that wasn’t so much in decline as it had never got going in the first place. Cheever had feuded with his Alfa team-mate Riccardo Patrese and so after a frustrating two years it might have even been something of a relief to find himself partnered with Derek Warwick at Jaguar for 1986. He had one F1 outing, substituting for an injured Patrick Tambay at Haas Lola, and when Jackie Oliver came calling for 1987 he was happy to be back in the paddock.