10 September 2012

Swedish GP, Anderstorp, June 17 1973

Ronnie Peterson's success with Team Lotus was the catalyst for a Swedish Grand Prix and the race was held for the first time in 1973 at the grandly-named Scandinavian Raceway. (later known as Anderstorp Raceway).
Peterson did not disappoint his fans in qualifying, taking pole in his Lotus 72. For 70 laps it looked like this would to be a 1-2 for Team Lotus, with Peterson first and reigning World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi second; however disaster struck when Fittipaldi retired with gearbox failure. Meanwhile, Denny Hulme in the Mclaren M23 was quickly closing the gap on the lead, as Peterson was having major trouble with tyre wear and fighting to stay on the track. On the 79th and penultimate lap Hulme was able to pass the local hero to snatch victory, the New Zealander's decision to run harder tyres on his car having paid off. Peterson was second. No Swede has ever won an F1 race on his home soil.
Its also worth noting that during the 1973 season,  Cosworth DFV V8 engines powered cars to victory in every single race in the 15 race season, a performance never to be repeated.

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