The winter of 83-84 saw the expected disappearance of the Theodore team (who moved over to IndyCar racing) and the less expected survival of the RAM outfit, who cut all their remaining ties with March, somehow got some sponsorship and would continue running in 1984.
Technical and Rules Changes
The biggest change for 1984 was one that had been known for some time: having been introduced by the Brabham team during 1982, in-race refuelling was to be banned. In the interest of trying to encourage drivers and teams to curb speeds, the maximum fuel tank size for the turbo cars was set at 220l, which led many drivers to predict that real racing would be thin on the ground as they were forced to drive with one eye on the fuel gauge, and that the sport would simply become a series of bland economy runs. Not only that, pointed out others, but the bigger teams who would be able to afford to develop or buy high-tech fuel injection and engine-management systems would be at a distinct advantage over the smaller teams. The flat-bottom rules for 1983 had given us close racing and a thrilling championship with none of the serious accidents that had marred previous years. Would the new regs for 1984 go too far and neuter the cars entirely? Only time would tell.
The planned calendar from 1984 remained broadly the same as the previous year. Kyalami returned to its usual early-season slot, though its organisers complained about the costs of having to host two events back-to-back and the race was moved back a few weeks so Brazil would again host the opening round. Several races were now alternating venues, so the French, British and Belgian rounds returned to Dijon-Prenois, Brands Hatch and Zolder respectively. The proposed New York street race was dropped again, but yet another new US venue would be trialled – a circuit around Fair Park in the centre of Dallas, Texas, to come immediately after the Detrout round. Two other new circuits were also on the books: a street circuit in the Spanish resort of Fuengirola scheduled for September or October, and a return to the iconic Nürburgring, now in a new, shorter (and safer) configuration.