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Bengt Ronnie Peterson (born February 14, 1944 in Örebro, Sweden - died September 11, 1978 in Milan, Italy) was a former Swedish Formula One driver. He was a two time runner-up in the Formula One championship.

He remains one of only two people to posthumously finish runner up in the championship, the other being Wolfgang von Trips.

Formula One CareerEdit

Before Formula OneEdit

1970Edit

1971Edit

Now on the factory March team, Peterson became the second person to finish runner-up without winning a single race, as he was 29 points behind Jackie Stewart who had won 6 of the 11 races on the calendar. His toughest defeat was to Peter Gethin in the Italian Grand Prix. Gethin pipped Peterson to the post by 0.01 seconds to deny the Swede his first win of his career.

1972Edit

Peterson stayed on at March for 1972, but Niki Lauda had moved to the team full-time after his one-off drive at the 1971 Austrian Grand Prix. The Marches were off the pace this season, and 12 points and a third place at Germany were the best he could manage. He was disqualified from a potential second place in Canada for receiving outside assistance after a spin.

1973Edit

Peterson moved to Lotus, alongside 1972 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi. He took his first victory at the French Grand Prix, and ultimately won four races to finish third behind Jackie Stewart and Fittipaldi in the championship. His relationship with Fittipaldi started out as cordial but deteriorated over time. At Monza, where Fittipaldi needed a victory to defend his title against Stewart, Peterson refused to let him by, and took the win by less than a second, sealing the championship for Stewart. Peterson and Fittipaldi rarely spoke again, and after the season Fittipaldi left Lotus for McLaren.

1974Edit

1975Edit

1976Edit

1977Edit

1978Edit

This was Peterson's final year before his untimely death. He had moved to Lotus and was partnered with American Mario Andretti.

DeathEdit

In the 1978 Italian Grand Prix, Peterson had qualified for 5th position on the grid. After the formation lap, drivers were arriving at the grid when the race starter began that race before the drivers were ready.

As a result, some of the drivers were already rolling to the grid when the race started. Peterson had a poor start because he was completely stopped at the grid. He was passed Alan Jones, Jacques Laffite and John Watson right off of the start.

Riccardo Patrese moved in front of James Hunt's car. Hunt moved to the left and collided with Peterson, causing a chain reaction. In addition to Hunt and Peterson, drivers Vittorio Brambilla, Carlos Reutemann, Hans-Joachim Stuck, Patrick Depailler, Didier Pironi, Derek Daly, Clay Regazzoni and Brett Lunger were also involved in the accident.

Peterson's car was sent into the barrier and caught fire as it was sent back into the middle of the track. Hunt, Regazzoni and Depailler exited their cars to free Peterson from his car. They managed to free him before he received burns. He was fully conscious, but he suffered major leg injuries.

All of the drivers involved were taken to a nearby hospital. Peterson had suffered 7 fractures in one leg and 3 in his other. Peterson was sent into surgery to have his bones set. During the night, Peterson died of full renal failure caused by a fat embolism.

Lotus teammate, Mario Andretti won the championship after the race. He said:

Quotes: Edit

"Fangio, former world champion, waits to flag the winner. It is of course Andretti, however Fangio mistakes Peterson's black Lotus for Andretti's and gives him the chequered flag." - Harry Carpenter. BBC. 1978 Argentine Grand Prix.

"It was so unfair to have a tragedy connected with probably what should have been the happiest day of my career... I couldn't celebrate, but also, I knew that trophy would be with me forever. And I knew also that Ronnie would have been happy for me." - Mario Andretti

Formula One Statistical OverviewEdit

Formula One RecordEdit

Year Entrant Team WDC Points WDC Pos. Report
1970 Antique Automobiles Racing Team
Colin Crabbe Racing
March-Cosworth 0 NC Report
1971 STP March Racing Team March-Cosworth
March-Alfa Romeo
33 2nd Report
1972 STP March Racing Team March-Cosworth 12 9th Report
1973 John Player Team Lotus Lotus-Cosworth 52 3rd Report
1974 John Player Team Lotus Lotus-Cosworth 35 5th Report
1975 John Player Team Lotus Lotus-Cosworth 6 12th Report
1976 John Player Team Lotus
March Engineering
Theodore Racing
Lotus-Cosworth
March-Cosworth
10 11th Report
1977 Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell-Cosworth 7 14th Report
1978 John Player Team Lotus Lotus-Cosworth 51 2nd Report

Career StatisticsEdit

Entries 123
Starts 123
Pole Positions 14
Front Row Starts 24
Race Wins 10
Podiums 26
Fastest laps 9
Points 206
Laps Raced 5725
Distance Raced 26759 km
Races Led 28
Laps Led 707
Distance Led 3313 km
Doubles 0

Race WinsEdit

Win Number Grand Prix
1 1973 French Grand Prix
2 1973 Austrian Grand Prix
3 1973 Italian Grand Prix
4 1973 United States Grand Prix
5 1974 Monaco Grand Prix
6 1974 French Grand Prix
7 1974 Italian Grand Prix
8 1976 Italian Grand Prix
9 1978 South African Grand Prix
10 1978 Austrian Grand Prix

Career ResultsEdit

Complete Formula One results
Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Pts Pos
1970 Flag of South Africa 1928-1994 Flag of Spain 1945 1977 Flag of Monaco Flag of Belgium Flag of the Netherlands Flag of France Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of Germany Flag of Austria Flag of Italy Flag of Canada Flag of the United States Flag of Mexico 0 NC
7th NC 9th Ret 9th Ret Ret NC 11th
1971 Flag of South Africa 1928-1994 Flag of Spain 1945 1977 Flag of Monaco Flag of the Netherlands Flag of France Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of Germany Flag of Austria Flag of Italy Flag of Canada Flag of the United States 33 2nd
10th Ret 2nd 4th Ret 2nd 5th 8th 2nd 2nd 3rd
1972 Flag of Argentina Flag of South Africa 1928-1994 Flag of Spain 1945 1977 Flag of Monaco Flag of Belgium Flag of France Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of Germany Flag of Austria Flag of Italy Flag of Canada Flag of the United States 12 9th
6th 5th Ret 11th 9th 5th 7th 3rd 12th 9th DSQ 4th
1973 Flag of Argentina Flag of Brazil Flag of South Africa 1928-1994 Flag of Spain 1945 1977 Flag of Belgium Flag of Monaco Flag of Sweden Flag of France Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of the Netherlands Flag of Germany Flag of Austria Flag of Italy Flag of Canada Flag of the United States 52 3rd
Ret Ret 11th Ret Ret 3rd 2nd 1st 2nd 11th Ret 1st 1st Ret 1st
1974 Flag of Argentina Flag of Brazil Flag of South Africa 1928-1994 Flag of Spain 1945 1977 Flag of Belgium Flag of Monaco Flag of Sweden Flag of the Netherlands Flag of France Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of Germany Flag of Austria Flag of Italy Flag of Canada Flag of the United States 35 5th
13th 6th Ret Ret Ret 1st Ret 8th 1st 10th 4th Ret 1st 3rd Ret
1975 Flag of Argentina Flag of Brazil Flag of South Africa 1928-1994 Flag of Spain 1945 1977 Flag of Monaco Flag of Belgium Flag of Sweden Flag of the Netherlands Flag of France Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of Germany Flag of Austria Flag of Italy Flag of the United States 6 13th
Ret 15th 10th Ret 4th Ret 9th 15th 10th Ret Ret 5th Ret 5th
1976 Flag of Brazil Flag of South Africa 1928-1994 Flag of the United States Flag of Spain 1945 1977 Flag of Belgium Flag of Monaco Flag of Sweden Flag of France Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of Germany Flag of Austria Flag of the Netherlands Flag of Italy Flag of Canada Flag of the United States Flag of Japan 10 11th
Ret Ret 10th Ret Ret Ret 7th 19th Ret Ret 6th Ret 1st 9th Ret Ret
1977 Flag of Argentina Flag of Brazil Flag of South Africa 1928-1994 Flag of the United States Flag of Spain 1977 1981 Flag of Monaco Flag of Belgium Flag of Sweden Flag of France Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of Germany Flag of Austria Flag of the Netherlands Flag of Italy Flag of the United States Flag of Canada Flag of Japan 7 14th
Ret Ret Ret Ret 8th Ret 3rd Ret 12th Ret 9th 5th Ret 6th 16th Ret Ret
1978 Flag of Argentina Flag of Brazil Flag of South Africa 1928-1994 Flag of the United States Flag of Monaco Flag of Belgium Flag of Spain 1977 1981 Flag of Sweden Flag of France Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of Germany Flag of Austria Flag of the Netherlands Flag of Italy Flag of the United States Flag of Canada 51 2nd
5th Ret 1st 4th Ret 2nd 2nd 3rd 2nd Ret Ret 1st 2nd Ret


Key
Symbol Meaning Symbol Meaning
1stWinner Ret Retired
2ndPodium finish DSQ Disqualified
3rd DNQ Did not qualify
5thPoints finish DNPQ Did not pre-qualify
14thNon-points finish TD Test driver
NCNon-classified finish (<90% race distance) DNS Did not start
[+] More Symbols

NotesEdit


V T E F1 drivers killed while racing
1952: Cameron Earl
1953: Chet Miller
1954: Onofre Marimón
1955: Manny Ayulo
1955: Bill Vukovich
1957: Eugenio Castellotti
1957: Keith Andrews
1958: Pat O'Connor
1958: Luigi Musso
1958: Peter Collins
1958: Stuart Lewis-Evans
1959: Jerry Unser
1959: Bob Cortner
1960: Chris Bristow
1960: Alan Stacey
1961: Giulio Cabianca
1961: Wolfgang von Trips
1964: Carel Godin de Beaufort
1966: John Taylor
1967: Lorenzo Bandini
1967: Bob Anderson
1968: Jo Schlesser
1969: Gerhard Mitter
1970: Bruce McLaren
1970: Piers Courage
1970: Jochen Rindt
1971: Ignazio Giunti
1971: Pedro Rodríguez
1971: Jo Siffert
1972: Jo Bonnier
1973: Roger Williamson
1973: François Cevert
1974: Peter Revson
1974: Helmuth Koinigg
1975: Mark Donohue
1977: Tom Pryce
1978: Ronnie Peterson
1980: Patrick Depailler
1982: Gilles Villeneuve
1982: Riccardo Paletti
1986: Elio de Angelis
1994: Roland Ratzenberger
1994: Ayrton Senna
2015: Jules Bianchi
See also: List of fatal accidents
V T E List of World Drivers' Championship runners-up
1950: Juan Manuel Fangio
1951: Alberto Ascari
1952: Giuseppe Farina
1953: Juan Manuel Fangio
1954: José Froilán González
1955: Stirling Moss
1956: Stirling Moss
1957: Stirling Moss
1958: Stirling Moss
1959: Tony Brooks
1960: Bruce McLaren
1961: Wolfgang von Trips
1962: Jim Clark
1963: Graham Hill
1964: Graham Hill
1965: Graham Hill
1966: John Surtees
1967: Jack Brabham
1968: Jackie Stewart
1969: Jacky Ickx
1970: Jacky Ickx
1971: Ronnie Peterson
1972: Jackie Stewart
1973: Emerson Fittipaldi
1974: Clay Regazzoni
1975: Emerson Fittipaldi
1976: Niki Lauda
1977: Jody Scheckter
1978: Ronnie Peterson
1979: Gilles Villeneuve
1980: Nelson Piquet
1981: Carlos Reutemann
1982: Didier Pironi
1983: Alain Prost
1984: Alain Prost
1985: Michele Alboreto
1986: Nigel Mansell
1987: Nigel Mansell
1988: Alain Prost
1989: Ayrton Senna
1990: Alain Prost
1991: Nigel Mansell
1992: Riccardo Patrese
1993: Ayrton Senna
1994: Damon Hill
1995: Damon Hill
1996: Jacques Villeneuve
1997: Heinz-Harald Frentzen*
1998: Michael Schumacher
1999: Eddie Irvine
2000: Mika Häkkinen
2001: David Coulthard
2002: Rubens Barrichello
2003: Kimi Räikkönen
2004: Rubens Barrichello
2005: Kimi Räikkönen
2006: Michael Schumacher
2007: Lewis Hamilton
2008: Felipe Massa
2009: Sebastian Vettel
2010: Fernando Alonso
2011: Jenson Button
2012: Fernando Alonso
2013: Fernando Alonso
2014: Nico Rosberg
2015: Nico Rosberg
2016: Lewis Hamilton
* Michael Schumacher was disqualified from the 1997 championship.
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