Alain Prost, still chasing the first world title of his career, earned four Grand Prix victories during the 1983 season and finished second in the Drivers’ Championship, two points behind Nelson Piquet.
Piquet and the Brabham-BMW team overhauled Prost and Renault in the last few races of the season, thanks to some fuel developments that were at the limits (to say the least) of the regulations.
Prost, who felt the team had been too conservative in developing the car (the RE40 , picture below), found himself increasingly at odd with Renault’s management, especially when they refused to file a protest against the Brabham team, and when they made him the scapegoat for failing to win the championship.
After an interview given to ESPN where the French driver said that in the last race his car ‘was not competitive’ and that he ‘didn’t lose by my own fault’ Renault fired Prost only two days after the South-African race.
Prost then didn’t waste time and signed for McLaren, where in 1985 he would finally clinch this well-deserved first title.