1974 CANADIAN GP
MOSPORT LOTUS 72E (3RD)
After a troubled qualifying Peterson started 10th and he held that position in the early stages, but then the Lotus started picking off its rivals.
When the flying Peterson came up to lap Jochen Mass there was contact that damaged the 72’s front wing, which made life harder. “Every time I tried to apply full power, the front wheels seemed to lift off the deck – very exciting,” said Peterson, but he still charged forward.
He was aided by problems for others, including Jody Scheckter’s Tyrrell suffering a brake failure, which put the Lotus up to fifth on lap 49 of 80. Peterson’s charge brought him to the tail of James Hunt’s Hesketh and the duo also closed on Clay Regazzoni’s third-placed Ferrari.
“Peterson was fighting the opposition with a tenacity that even he had rarely exhibited before,” said Alan Henry in his book Ronnie
Peterson – Superswede, written in association with Peterson. “With the odds loaded heavily against him, his progress towards the leaders was terrific. It seemed that nobody would stop him on this particular day.”
On lap 60, Peterson breached Hunt’s defences and then, with less than 13 laps to go, leader Niki Lauda crashed out after sliding on dirt and debris brought onto the circuit.
Peterson caught Regazzoni in the closing laps, but was delayed in traffic on the final tour, missing out on second by 1.5s.