Bengt Ronald " Ronnie " Peterson ( born February 14, 1944 in Örebro, † September 11, 1978 in Milan, Italy) was a Swedish racing driver. He started in the 1970s in Formula 1, and was there in 1971 and 1978 Vice World Champion.
From 1970-1972 Peterson drove for March - Ford, reaching 1971 by placements in the points, but without a victory in the World Championship. In 1972 he went with the former Formula 1 newcomer Niki Lauda, but could not repeat his previous successes due to the faulty design March 721X. For 1973, the Lotus team signed him. In his first Lotus - season 1973 he went to the side of the reigning world champion Emerson Fittipaldi. He was in training mostly faster than this, but could especially in the first half of the season many races do not quit, so he was beaten Fittipaldi in the final bill. In Le Castellet, he won his first Grand Prix. In the years 1974 and 1975 Lotus began after the faulty design Lotus 76 continues in 1970 introduced the Type 72, which was not technically up to date, and specifically prevented better results in 1975. Therefore the beginning of the 1976 season, he moved back to the March team, for which he won the Italian Grand Prix, but otherwise often precipitated. The 1977 season played for Peterson Tyrrell - Ford with Ken Tyrrell P34 six-wheeled with the but without resounding success.
After three poorly performing years, he could not afford another bad season more. He agreed that it was shopping the Italian millionaire Guggi Zanon for the 1978 season as a driver for Lotus - Ford. But he had to accept a clear number 2 status behind the American Mario Andretti. In the 1978 season the Lotus - Ford were significantly superior to all other competitors from the Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder. With the Lotus 79, the second " ground-effect car ," she had a technological advantage over all other teams.
At the Grand Prix in Monza 1978 Peterson came immediately after the start fault in a pile-up and withdrew it serious leg injuries. He died from an embolism a day later in the Niguarda hospital in Milan.
His wife Barbro Edwardsson, a former top model, has the misfortune never be able to overcome. After they had long been romantically involved with the Irishman John Watson, she put her life on 19 December 1987, nearly a decade after the death of her husband, in a Paris hotel to an end. Ronnie and Barbro left a born November 4, 1975 daughter named Nina Louise.
Ronnie Peterson was one of the best Formula 1 driver of his time and should 1979 the new number one at McLaren are. His teammate Andretti in 1978 Formula 1 world champion, while Peterson posthumously won the World Championship.