Having spent 1983 living from hand to mouth, organising sponsors on a race-by-race basis and aiming just to survive, the Arrows team’s future looks much brighter now at the start of 1984. Permanent sponsorship is now on board with Barclay cigarettes and Nordica ski equipment, and there is continuity of drivers with Marc Surer and Thierry Boutsen remaining on board. The team will begin the year with the 1983 A6 chassis and Ford power, but a new car with BMW turbo power should be available by the time the teams reach Europe.
The Swiss driver had seldom caught the eye in 1983, but outside the TV coverage had established himself as a true racer, taking the sluggish but solid A6 by the scruff of the neck and wrestling it into the points four times. He out-drove Alan Jones when he reappeared, and only bumping into Warwick kept him off the podium in Monaco. When the season moved to the faster circuits, he simply wasn’t able to keep up, but he and Boutsen kept their cars running and brought them home, which is about all that could be asked.
Boutsen had been unfortunate on a number of levels in 1983: unfortunate in being dropped by Spirit, then unable to finance a Tyrrell drive before finally pitching up at Arrows just in time for his home race. He immediately impressed, and was again unfortunate in not being able to parlay his evident skill into a points finish, twice coming home seventh and twice ninth. As with Surer, he did all that could be asked of him, and did so just as well as his more experienced team-mate. With a full season to go at, he could do well in 1984.