Arrows A8

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Arrows A8
1985 European GP Boutsen.jpg
Category Formula One
Constructor Arrows
Designer(s) Dave Wass
Predecessor A7
Successor A9
Technical specifications[1]
Chassis Aluminium and carbon fibre monocoque
Suspension (front) Double wishbones, push-rod dampers
Suspension (rear) Double wishbones, pull-rod dampers
Axle track Front: 1,778 mm (70.0 in)
Rear: 1,651 mm (65.0 in)
Wheelbase 2,794 mm (110.0 in)
Engine BMW M12/13, 1,499 cc (91.5 cu in), Straight 4, turbocharged, mid-engine, longitudinally mounted
Transmission Hewland 5-speed manual
Weight 545 kg (1,202 lb)
Tyres Goodyear
Competition history
Notable entrants Barclay Arrows BMW
Notable drivers Austria Gerhard Berger
Belgium Thierry Boutsen
Switzerland Marc Surer
Germany Christian Danner
Debut 1985 Brazilian Grand Prix
Constructors' Championships 0
Drivers' Championships 0

The Arrows A8 was a Formula One car, designed by Dave Wass, which the Arrows team used to compete in the 1985 and 1986 Formula One seasons. Powered by the BMW M12 turbocharged engine, its best finish was when Thierry Boutsen drove it to second place at the 1985 San Marino Grand Prix.

Design and development[edit]

The A8 was designed by Dave Wass and utilised a carbon-composite tub behind which was mounted the BMW M12 turbocharged engine, the team continuing the use of this powerplant from the previous season. The engines were maintained by Swiss engine guru Heini Mader. A total of five A8 cars were built for 1985.[2]

Racing history[edit]

1985 season[edit]

For 1985, Arrows continued with the Belgian driver Thierry Boutsen while Gerhard Berger was contracted to drive the second entry. A podium finish was achieved by Boutsen at Imola where he placed third but was later moved to second when winner Alain Prost's McLaren was disqualified for being underweight. Boutsen himself was lucky to finish the race having run out of fuel within sight of the flag, though he had enough momentum to be able to coast over the line still in third place. This proved to be the A8's high point as it was never again driven to a podium finish.

The A8 scored 14 points during the 1985 season, placing Arrows eighth in the Constructors' Championship.

1986 season[edit]

Arrows continued with the A8 for the 1986 season, driven by Marc Surer and Christian Danner. The team could only place tenth in the Constructors' Championship final standings due to Danner scoring a solitary point for sixth place at the 1986 Austrian Grand Prix.[3] The team introduced a new car, the A9, midseason at the Austrian Grand Prix where it was driven by Boutsen. After qualifying 21st, Boutsen retired from the race with turbo failure. After a further two races at which it failed to finish, the A9 was shelved and the team persevered with the A8 for the remainder of the season.[4]

While Heini Mader did a good job in maintaining the team's BMW engines, they lacked the power of the same engines powering the Brabham and later Benetton teams as those particular engines were continually maintained by BMW, giving them access to new parts, information and factory backed development that Mader did not have. This was shown in the results as the Arrows-BMWs rarely out-qualified or out-raced the Brabhams or Benettons.

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Points WCC
1985 Barclay Arrows BMW A8 BMW M12/13 Straight 4 tc G BRA POR SMR MON CAN DET FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA BEL EUR RSA AUS 14 8th
Gerhard Berger Ret Ret Ret Ret 13 11 Ret 8 7 Ret 9 Ret 7 10 5 6
Thierry Boutsen 11 Ret 2 9 9 7 9 Ret 4 8 Ret 9 10 6 6 Ret
1986 Barclay Arrows BMW A8 BMW M12/13 Straight 4 tc G BRA ESP SMR MON BEL CAN DET FRA GBR GER HUN AUT ITA POR MEX AUS 1 10th
Marc Surer Ret Ret 9 9 9 DNS
Christian Danner Ret 9 Ret Ret 6 8 11 9 Ret
Thierry Boutsen Ret 7 7 8 Ret Ret Ret NC 8 Ret 7 10 7 Ret


  1. ^ "1985 - 1986 Arrows A8 BMW - Images, Specifications and Information". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  2. ^ Nye 1985, p. 164.
  3. ^ "Arrows A8". Statsf1. Retrieved 2 June 2016. 
  4. ^ "Arrows A9". Statsf1. Retrieved 2 June 2016. 


  • Nye, Doug (1985). Autocourse History of the Grand Prix Car 1966 – 1985. Richmond, Surrey, United Kingdom: Hazelton Publishing. ISBN 0905138376.