Ferrari could look back with satisfaction on two consecutive Constructors’ Championships, but the Drivers’ title still eluded them despite the best efforts in 1983 of Tambay and Arnoux. The two Frenchmen had proved evenly matched over the season as a whole, but it took Arnoux the first half of the season just to find his feet and at the halfway stage he was being openly talked about as a candidate for early sacking. Instead, it was Arnoux that retained his seat alongside new signing Michele Alboreto, while Tambay was unceremoniously dumped. Several within the team are known to be unhappy with this decision, as Tambay’s testing and development input was highly valued and neither Arnoux nor Alboreto have shown such aptitude. However, with a new 126C4 chassis ready from the get-go, the team believe that they can finally take that extra step for the first time since 1979.
Despite winning in Detroit, Alboreto was anonymous for much of 1983 as his Tyrrell slipped further back in the field and he often gave the impression of seeing out his contract with a 1984 drive already assured. That said, even in the unique circumstances of Detroit, you don’t win in a Tyrrell without really trying, and his promise remains undimmed. Alboreto is the first Italian Ferrari driver since Arturo Merzario in 1973, and his popularity with the fans is assured before he so much as turns a wheel – he will just need to ensure he keeps them onside with his performances.
28. René Arnoux
The Frenchman had a troubled start to the 1983 season following his move from Renault, but following his win in Canada he never looked back, trading race wins with Prost to push his rival and former team-mate hard for the title. Ultimately, mechanical reliability scuppered his season in the final two races, as it had for Tambay, but he went into the last race still with a mathematical chance of winning, which was impressive given his early-season form. Not everyone was happy that it was he and not Tambay who had retained the seat, and he would have to prove them wrong in 1984.