The French team had seen 1983 go from a triumphant march to the first Turbo world title to another entry on their list of disappointing failures. With Alain Prost shown the door after his comments about the car at Kyalami and Eddie Cheever somewhat unfairly tarred with the same brush and also released. In to replace them come Patrick Tambay and Derek Warwick, the former with a point to prove after his release by Ferrari, the latter looking to establish himself as a top driver following his fine drives for Toleman. The car they would be driving was the RE50, an updated version of the RE40 which had failed to win the title in 1983, and the team would have to prove there was life after Prost.
There were many in the Grand Prix fraternity who felt that Tambay had been badly treated by Ferrari at the end of 1983, both in his release from the team after having done so much better than expected, and in the manner of its announcement – with Ferrari apparently unable to reach Tambay, they announced it anyway and Tambay only heard about it when an Italian journalist called him for a comment. The French team were keen to get one over on Ferrari, a goal which suited their new driver just fine – and his fine developmental skills would serve the team well too.
Having stuck with the little Toleman team from its entry into F1 in 1981, Warwick had proved himself a fine driver over and over, only for the car to let him down. When it finally all seemed to come together for Toleman at the end of 1983, it was Warwick who made the most of things to record four consecutive points finishes. Warwick was hot property at the end of 1983 and Renault would hope that his reputation was well-founded and that he had the hunger to succeed and win races.