1983 French Grand Prix
- Sunday, April 17, 1983
- Grand Prix de France
- F1 World Championship
There was nothing wrong with the entry for it was very full, with 29 drivers and 42 cars filling the pit-lane garages and with all the major teams having spent a lot of time at the circuit during the winter, everyone seemed ready to go. There were two changes to the scene, one being the addition of a second March-RAM driven by Jean-Louis Schlesser who had made his Formula One debut at the Race of Champions and the other the absence of Alan Jones from the Arrows team.
Jonesey had agreed to drive the Arrows at Long Beach and Brands Hatch, acting as a “sprat to catch a mackerel”, the mackerel being represented by a big, wealthy sponsor who would pour vast sums of money into the Arrows team purely on the knowledge that Alan Jones would be driving for them. With the team’s known record it was not surprising that no sponsor came forward, even allowing for the known qualities of Alan Jones; and that was that, Jones stepped out of his commitment and the Arrows cars were unsponsored apart from some small local advertising. It would look as though the sea has dried up as far as mackerel are concerned, leaving only a few basking sharks! Just in case anyone in a half-decent car should fall ill, or have an accident, Alan Jones was in the pits with his driving equipment not far away.
On the car front Renault were looking strong with new RE40 cars for Prost (RE40/01) and Cheever (RE40/02) and the 00 prototype as stand-by and Lotus were looking equally strong with two Renault-powered cars for de Angelis and two Cosworth-powered cars for Mansell. The Lotus 93T/1 had the latest RE40 engine installation and the Lotus 92 cars were running with normal suspension in place of the computer-controlled hydraulic suspension as its advantage seems to have disappeared and its weight disadvantage being too much of a handicap.
Le Castellet, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
Permanent road course
Keke Rosberg (Williams FW10-Honda), 1m39.914, 130.072 mph, F1, 1985
First Race1970 Paul Ricard F2