Cemetery church leader reports destruction of three headstones
Peterson was the most successful Swedish Formula 1 driver
Sad news is coming in from Sweden: Several graves at Almby Cemetery have been desecrated, including that of Formula 1 driver Ronnie Peterson, who died in 1978.
Almby Swedish cemetery church leader Brita Wennsten has announced that vandals stormed the cemetery on Sunday night, March 29, and destroyed three headstones, one of which was Peterson’s. “It is embarrassing,” assures local newspaper Nerikes Allehanda.
“It is something very unnecessary. I think especially about his relatives. Can you imagine coming to visit your relative and seeing the tombstone destroyed?” Adds the church leader.
Wennsten does not believe it was a personal attack on the pilot or his family, but thinks it was random. “It had nothing to do with the person of Peterson. Everything indicates that the perpetrators acted indiscriminately,” he clarifies.
His wife Barbro Peterson also rests in the Almby Cemetery, as do Ronnie’s parents, Bengt and May-Britt.
Ronnie Peterson was the most successful Swedish Formula 1 driver. Runner-up in 1971 and 1978, he raced in the 1970s with Lotus, March and Tyrrell, achieved ten wins, 14 Pole Positions and participated in 123 Grand Prixes.
He died after an accident during the 1978 Italian GP. The Swede went against the barrier in a multiple crash and his car exploded into a fireball. Although his teammates managed to get him out of the Lotus and the pilot’s life seemed safe beyond injury, he would lose his life just a few hours later after a multi-organ failure at the hospital where he was transferred.
His career is reviewed in the documentary “Superswede”, which has testimonies from Niki Lauda, Sir Jackie Stewart, Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi, John Watson or Jody Scheckter.
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