1973 FRENCH GP
PAUL RICARD LOTUS 72E (1ST)
In some ways this was one of Peterson’s more subdued races, but it is the event that finally made him a GP victor.
Mclaren newcomer Jody Scheckter led from the start, with Peterson – after a great start from row two – chasing initially.
“The Mclaren was the fastest of the three types along the straight, which meant that even with a tow neither the Lotus nor the Tyrrell drivers could slipstream up alongside Scheckter,” wrote Autosport’s Pete Lyons.
Having not breached Scheckter’s defences, Peterson decided to let teammate Emerson Fittipaldi by to have a go.
“In what appears to have been an uncharacteristic error of judgement, Emerson tried to force his way through where Scheckter wasn’t prepared to give him room,” wrote Lyons.
The ensuing clash put both out just after three-quarters distance and, with Jackie Stewart and Denny Hulme having already suffered punctures, Peterson was left to take his first world championship win at his 40th attempt.