A Photographic PortraitBy Alan Henry & Quentin SpurringPublication date: OUT NOW!RRP: £30.00, Hardback, ISBN: 978 1 84425 548 1
Along with Stirling Moss and Gilles Villeneuve, Ronnie Peterson is widely regarded as one of the fastest drivers never to have won the Formula One World Championship. He started 123 Grands Prix over nine seasons, winning 10, with 14 pole positions and nine fastest laps, was runner-up in the World Championship in1971 and 1978, but never won a title.
Yet Ronnie Peterson was a truly remarkable racing driver who inspired a generation with his bravery, his astonishing car control and absolute commitment to the sport. He was universally acknowledged as the world's fastest driver through the 1970s, but he kept his modesty, his humour, his shyness and his simple charm. No wonder the fans adored him.
The car control came from kart racing. For many years now, every Formula 1 driver has set out on the road to stardom by racing karts. Ronnie was the very first to make it into Grand Prix racing via a podium in a karting World Championship, in 1966. Soon after he had progressed to Formula 3, in the extraordinary 1969 season he regularly beat a dozen future Grand Prix stars, but it was his epic victory at Monaco, that marked him as a potential superstar.
He made it to Formula 1 the following season with March, and his performances in its Grand Prix and Formula 2 cars suggested that a World Championship was inevitable. Somehow, the title eluded him. Only in 1973 did he have the equipment that might have delivered it, whilst driving the iconic Lotus 72. He had a knack of being in the right team at the wrong time. But he never lost his love of racing cars, of all kinds. He won sportscar races for Alfa Romeo and Ferrari, and touring car races for Ford and BMW, entertaining the spectators all the while.
Ronnie particularly loved racing on Italy's super-fast Autodromo Nazionale at Monza. This was the scene of one of his outstanding Formula 3 wins, his race- leading début in Formula 2, and three of his Formula 1 victories. Ironically, it was also the scene of his final race. He died in hospital, aged 34, after receiving injuries in a startline crash that had not seemed life-threatening.The motor racing community was left to mourn the loss of one of its greatest assets.
Containing over 190 glorious LAT images, both in colour and black and white, Ronnie Peterson A Photographic Portrait brings his career vividly to life.
Notes to editors:Quentin Spurring was editor of Autosport in the period 1976-88. Subsequently his specialist publishing company, QED, was successfully engaged in motorsports contract work and from 1992 published the magazine Racecar Engineering, which he edited until 2000. His books include the award-winning Grand Prix! Rare Images of the First 100 Years,Gilles Villeneuve: A Photographic Portrait and Jim Clark:A Photographic Portrait.
Alan Henry has been a regular member of the F1 press for 35 years, having started out at the 1973 British Grand Prix at Silverstone in which his great friend Ronnie Peterson finished second. He has since covered over 550 races and travelled more than two million miles reporting the World Championship, and during that time he has become acquainted with most of the top drivers who have featured on the Grand Prix stage, including Peterson's close friend, triple World Champion Niki Lauda. He is Grand Prix editor for Autocar and has been motor racing correspondent for The Guardian since 1987 an has written several dozen books including Ronnie Peterson: SuperSwede, published by Haynes in 1975.
LAT Photographic is the world's largest and most comprehensive archive specialising in motoring and motor racing. It comprises approximately 12 million images representing the history of the car and the sport from 1895 to the present day. Formed in the mid-1960s as Motor Sport's in-house photographic resource, LAT was acquired by Haymarket Publishing in 1996 and now includes the archives of respected magazines Autosport, Autocar and Motor. The agency remains at the forefront of the sport, providing coverage from every major race worldwide, from F1 to the World Rally Championship, and Indianapolis to the NASCAR Nextel Cup.