Ronnie Peterson, known also as “The Super Swede” was Sweden’s most successful driver, completing a total of 123 F1 GP’s including 10 wins, before he died after a startline crash during the 1978 Italian Gran Prix. He is buried in the cemetery in his home town of Orebro.
Swedish newspaper Nerikes Allehanda reported that during last weekend, a number of graves at this cemetery have been desecrated during an attack on late Sunday night, with the vandals wrecking random graves. The newspaper written that the attack on Peterson’s grave was most likely unintentional, rather than a specific target.
Brita Wennsten, a church leader overlooking those issues, told the newspaper: “It's just shameful. It had nothing to do with Peterson specifically. Everything indicates that the perpetrators acted indiscriminately.”
Peterson began his career in Formula One as a driver for March Factory Team, after his successful, championship winning participation in FIA European Formula 3. After three years in March, he moved to Team Lotus where he partnered a then title-defending champion Emerson Fittipaldi. After the 1975 season he moved back to March and then in 1977 to Tyrell before going back to Lotus for the 1978 season where he was the number two driver partnering Mario Andretti.
During this time he scored six podiums at March, won 1 GP’s for Tyrell and 9 GP’s in Lotus, before his death after the fatal first lap incident at the Italian GP in 1978. He suffered severe leg injuries as well as embolism that proved to be fatal and took the Swede’s life on 11 September 1978. Despite his death he remained second in the championship.
The pallbearers at his funeral included James Hunt, Jody Scheckter, John Watson, Emerson Fittipaldi, Gunnar Nilsson and Niki Lauda.