1976 ITALIAN GP
MONZA MARCH 761 (1ST)
Peterson’s 1976 season with March was largely a frustration. Despite pole at Zandvoort and having also led in Austria, he arrived at Monza for round 13 with just a single point to his name – and on his way to Tyrrell for ’77.
Things didn’t look that much better in practice, with Peterson qualifying eighth, 1.29s off Jacques Laffite’s pole time.
But come the race, Peterson was unstoppable. He jumped to fourth on lap one and quickly overcame Laffite’s Ligier and the Tyrrell of Patrick Depailler to run second after four laps. He then chased after early leader Jody Scheckter’s Tyrrell.
“Peterson made a rush onto Scheckter starting the 11th lap and pulled off a neat outbraking manoeuvre on the inside going into the first chicane,” said our report.
Peterson never lost the lead, but he never got away from the chasing pack either. And he reckoned the arrival of light rain in the middle of the race was crucial.
“That win was really lucky because that rain shower just came at the right time to keep the tyres cool enough,” he said in Alan Henry’s book Ronnie Peterson – Superswede. “It was a cool afternoon and I equalled the pole position time on the very last lap of the race.”