The Renault team had seen a 1981 of two halves, with the cars improving in reliability during the second half of the season and also improving their one-lap speeds to achieve better qualifying positions. Alain Prost had underlined his credentials as a rising star by winning three races in only his second season of F1 while more experienced René Arnoux had been overshadowed, and for 1982 the team decided not to fix what wasn’t broken and maintained continuity in car (tweaked to RE30B specifications), engine and drivers to try and mount a serious title challenge. If they could maintain their form from the second half of 1981, this was certainly on the cards, especially with their greater experience with Turbo engines compared to competitors Ferrari and Brabham-BMW.
After an indifferent first season with McLaren in 1980, Prost had really come good in 1981 with three wins for the Renault team and had consistently shown up his team-mate Arnoux. France had never had a world champion driver and Prost was strong favourite to change this in 1982.
After an underwhelming 1981 blighted by technical failures and bad luck, Arnoux was looking to come out from under the shadow of his team-mate Prost in 1982 and make the most of the French team’s new form.