A truly great champion is defined by his talent, his discipline and his judgment on making the right career moves when necessary. All Ronnie Peterson had was his uncontested talent behind the wheel, a master of opposite lock and dare devil driving antics. He graduated to Formula 1 in 1970 with the fledgling March team and in his second season finished runner-up to Jackie Stewart in the World Championship without winning a race. It was only in 1973, after switching to Colin Chapman’s Team Lotus that he scored his first win at the French GP and another three would follow that year. But Lotus was on decline and Ronnie returned to March, winning the 1976 Italian GP at Monza. An unsuccessful year with Tyrrell’s P34 six-wheeler followed, before going back to Lotus in 1978. Ronnie won two GPs that year, but had to play the number two role for a season and was looking forward to be free to race in equal terms in 1979. Tragically he died of injuries sustained in a accident at the start of that year’s Italian GP and became posthumous the runner-up to champion and team-mate Mario Andretti.
Born: 14th of February 1944 in Örebro, Sweden.
Died 11th of September 1978 in Milan, Italy, aged 34.