South African Grand prix at Kyalami. Won by Alain Prost in a Renault RE30B.
Alain Prost won the South African GP in a Renault turbo, but the race took a back seat to politics. When practice began on Thursday, Jochen Mass was the only driver there. Protesting the new FISA Super license, every other driver had boarded a bus to a hotel. Mass had arrived late, literally missing the bus. Didier Pironi met with FISA head J.M. Balestre over the problems. The Super license rule was introduced to prevent drivers from breaking contracts and jumping teams (Prost's jump from McLaren to Renault brought about the rule). Clause 1 of the license stated that the driver would stay with the team until his contract expired. Clause 5 asked the driver to agree to do nothing to harm the moral or "material interest" of the World Championship and international motorsport. The drivers wanted it re-done so that if a driver couldn't leave a team, then a team could not fire a driver. Spectators were given refunds and race stewards announced that all 31 drivers were suspended and the race had been postponed 8 days. FISA announced they had withdrawn all 31 driver's licenses and that they would be ineligible for the World Championship. In a meeting, team managers agreed to run the race if drivers wishing to compete would report to the track between 8 and 9 AM on Saturday. Teo Fabi was the only driver at the track Saturday morning (he had sneaked out). Mass tried to practice, but was black flagged. An agreement was reached to re-do the offending sections of the rule. All drivers signed forms and returned to the track. Prost passed Carlos Reutemann and then Rene Arnoux with 15 laps left, going on to the win. After the race, stewards suspended all drivers except Fabi (in his first GP), Mass and Brian Henton. FISA announced that all the drivers were suspended.