The Arrows A5 had debuted towards the end of the 1982 season and seemed to have perked the team’s fortunes up, so when the new regulations were announced and it was obvious that the A5 would have to be scrapped, it was a blow to Jackie Oliver’s squad. Another blow came with the departure of Italian sponsor Ragno, and Oliver proved unable over the winter to come up with a new main sponsor, so the cars looked depressingly plain and white. Marc Surer at least stayed with the team after a solid 1982, and Chico Serra arrived from the now-defunct Fittipaldi team. Rumours were rife that Alan Jones was interested in making a comeback with the team, which would be a major coup if the details could be worked out – but who would make way?
The new Arrows A6 was essentially a flat-bottomed A5, but since the earlier car was built around ground-effects, there were questions over how well it would run.
The Swiss driver had proved a good signing for Arrows in 1982, using his experience of wringing the best out of small resources gained with Theodore and others. Seldom spectacular, he nonetheless kept the car on the black bit and pointing the right way the majority of the season, picking up points when others fell by the wayside. He and Jackie Oliver would hope that his maturity and smarts would stand the team in good stead again.
When the Fittipaldi team slimmed down to one car for 1982, Chico Serra – not Keke Rosberg – was the driver chosen to continue and, like Marc Surer, he got the best out of a very bad car and put in a season’s worth of solid, reliable drives to bring the car home as often as possible and took home a single inherited point as scant reward. Favourite to be first out of the door if Alan Jones did sign, Chico Serra would have to make an impression quickly to keep his drive.