At the Anderstorp airport track, a small industrial center amidst the forests of southern Sweden, the seventh round of the Formula 1 World Championship takes place on Sunday, June 9, 1974. Following the victory of the Swede Ronnie Peterson in Monaco, the anticipation for Sunday's race is enormous. 52.000 tickets have already been sold, and it is expected that around 80.000 people will attend on Sunday. Hotels are fully booked within an 80-kilometer radius, and to accommodate the groups of fans coming from all over Scandinavia (30.000 people are expected to arrive by car from beyond the Arctic Circle), four enormous tent camps and eight chapels have been set up for 62 religious services over three days. To prevent excesses, common in sports events in Northern Europe, the sale of alcoholic beverages has been prohibited in the entire area since yesterday. The sports enthusiasts' interest is focused on what is presumed to be the theme of the race: Peterson's ambition to win in front of his home audience against the superior technology of the two Ferraris, which newspapers describe as the machines with the best chances of success. Swedish newspapers insist that Peterson is a greater champion than Regazzoni and Lauda, but at the same time, they point out that the 1974 Lotus models are not technically on par with the Ferraris. Nevertheless, the newspapers consistently identify Peterson as the most likely winner, praising his determination and highlighting his fighting spirit. The Expressen of Stockholm, the most widely circulated daily newspaper in Scandinavia, writes:
"On Sunday, Ronnie must win. The Swedish Grand Prix must be his alone. Not Fittipaldi's, Lauda's, Regazzoni's, or anyone else's. In Anderstorp, Peterson will truly give everything".
In a radio interview this morning, the Swede says:
"My car, which had caused trouble in the past, is now performing splendidly. But I acknowledge that Ferraris are generally faster than Lotuses. However, I will fight from the beginning, and I will fight until exhaustion. My will and ability may prove superior to Ferrari's best technique".
After the chaotic episode in Monte Carlo, we return to a real track, that of Anderstorp, for the Swedish Grand Prix. The circuit is located in the south of the country, in a beautiful yet isolated place. Among the woods, colorful tent camps are emerging, and naturally, the occupants are cheering for the blond Ronnie Peterson, who, with the Monaco victory, has propelled himself and the Lotus into the title fight, albeit a bit late. At the top of the World Championship standings, we find Emerson Fittipaldi with 24 points, Regazzoni with 22, and Lauda with 21. Not far behind, given the balanced situation in Formula 1 this year, are Scheckter (with 12 points), Hulme (11), and Peterson, who has 10 points, along with Beltoise. The Swede is probably the driver in the chasing group of Fittipaldi-Regazzoni-Lauda with the greatest chances due to his competitive spirit and the undeniable qualities of the Lotus 72, an old model but increasingly competitive compared to the new one. There are a few changes on the driver scene for the Swedish Grand Prix as drivers retired hurt, just retired or were busy doing something else. In the March team Reine Wisell takes the place of Hans-Joachim Stuck, as the forceful young German is competing in a Formula Two race at Hockenheim, having his sights set on winning the European Championship, and in the UOP-Shadow team Bertil Roos takes over the place vacated by Brian Redman, the Lancastrian deciding that the rat-race of Formula One is not his way of living. Roos is a Swede who lives for the most part in America and does a lot of racing there in European-type National racing. With the total entry limited the B.R.M. team decides not to be greedy with a three-car team and dropped Francois Migault for this event. The organisers agree to take 27 drivers for practice, the fastest 25 to take part in the race, though there is a clause in the supplementary regulations that allows them to take the extra two drivers onto the starting grid if they should be Scandinavians! With advice from the Formula One Constructors Association the 27 drivers do not include Chris Amon, Tim Schenken and some newcomers, the exclusion of Ron Tauranac’s Trojan for Tim Schenken coming as a surprise to quite a few. On the mechanical front the scene is pretty stable, most of the crashed cars from Monaco has been repaired or completely rebuilt or even replaced.
Team Lotus has the same formula as for Monaco, with Peterson on 72/R8 and Ickx on 72/R5, with this time the Lotus 76 number JPS/9 for Peterson to try as a spare car. The Tyrrell team of Scheckter and Depailler have the two t 974 cars, as raced previously, with Tyrrell 006/2 as a spare, though it was never used. The McLaren outfit has nearly a full set of M23 models, Hailwood having his usual pair, M23/t and M23/7 for the Yardley side of things, and Fittipaldi and Hulme having M23/5, M23/6, and M23/4 to race in Texaco-Marlboro colours, while on a trailer as advertising material was M23/2. Reutemann and von Opel have the usual three Brabham BT.44 models between them, and John Watson had BT42/2 for the Hexagon racing team. The March that Stuck crashed so extensively at Monaco is virtually scrapped and a new one built around the same identification plate: so that we can justifiably call it 741/1-2, in the same way that Brambilla’s car is 741/2-2 after being written-off in Spain earlier in the season. The Ferrari team’s neat arrangement of ringing the changes on their five cars is spoilt by Lauda at Monaco when he crumpled 015 in practice, and raced 010, so 015 is rebuilt for him to use in Sweden, 010 is given a rest, 012 is the spare car for this race and Regazzoni has on as planned. The two-car B.R.M. team of Beltoise and Pescarolo comprise the two 1974 cars, the former having P201/01 and the latter having P201/02, it now having its front brakes mounted in the normal position of inboard for this model of B.R.M.. The Swedish import to the Shadow team takes over Redman’s car, while Jarier has his usual car, in long-wheelbase form, and the new and as yet unraced car as a spare. Tearn and Surtees are not in the best of spirits, both drivers thinking it was time they started winning races and are even unhappier than usual as John Surtees is not there for them to moan at. With time being short the Ensign team, backed by Theodore Racing of Hong Kong, brought along the 1973 car for Schuppan to drive, rather than hurriedly prepare the car used at Monaco, and Graham Hill and his young apprentice-driver Edwards, have the pair of Embassy-backed Lola cars that they have raced at Monaco, both looking immaculate and as if brand new, the cars that is, not the drivers. Hunt is driving his lordship’s Hesketh 308/2 and to complete the list there is The Flying Finn, Leo Kinnunen with the prototype TS16 Surtees, carrying more Scandinavian advertising than seems reasonable for its potential.
Since last year, when the first Swedish Grand Prix at Anderstorp was held and reckoned to be a huge success, the organisers and the Anderstorp Racing Club have tidied up a few ragged edges that occurred and everyone seems very happy and contented. The circuit is modified slightly in that instead of zooming flat-out off the main straight, which is an airfield runway, through a right-hand sweep onto the wiggly part of the circuit, an ess-bend is built into the curve, and then accelerate along a short straight to the first sharp corner on the infield. This effectively cuts out the only fast corner on the flat circuit. In spite of the long blast down the runway, the rest of the circuit is so wiggly that the lap speed is only just over 100 km/h, fast enough for some Formula One aspirants, but hardly Grand Prix by motor racing standards. Practice is more than adequate, being in two sessions on Friday afternoon, and two on Saturday afternoon, though the time between the two sessions is not long enough for doing any really serious work. On Friday short sharp showers of rain messes things up, but in the dry spell Lauda shows form once more by setting the pace, with Peterson as usual charging along behind him in the Lotus 72. Scheckter is unobtrusively in third place, only a fraction of a second behind the Swede, followed by Fittipaldi and Janet recording good times. Merzario has a very brief try in the Williams car, but soon realises it is not possible to drive properly with his damaged hand, so the car is made ready for Robarts to drive in the second session. Regazzoni crumples the front of his Ferrari very early on, and while it is repaired, he does a few slow laps in the spare car. During the second session on Friday the rain plays havoc and conditions are never completely dry so progress as far as lap times were concerned is backwards and it is latices turn to be fastest. Not a significant situation. It was a rather bizarre day due to the weather, as strong winds from Norway (on the coasts, the radio issued warnings for sailors, and to the north of Stockholm, it was heavily snowing) brought rain-laden clouds to Anderstorp, which, at intervals, unloaded on the circuit. The track spared the drivers only in the first 30 minutes of the three scheduled hours of practice. Car handling, always a delicate and complex operation but even more challenging here due to the presence of fast curves that require tough work on tires and suspensions. In these conditions, Ferrari's organizational preparation once again stood out.
The 312-B3 had received the right adjustments on the private Fiorano track, and Lauda, in the crucial first half-hour today, immediately set the fastest time. Regazzoni couldn't replicate it due to an unfortunate circumstance. The Swiss driver went a bit long into the variant designed this year to reduce speed in a wide curve at the end of the straight in front of the pits, climbing onto the large outer curb with the car. The nose broke, and some dirt entered the throttle control. A minor incident, but Clay was forced to return and entrust the car to the care of the mechanics. Shortly after, it started raining, and hopes of achieving a better performance were dashed. Even at Anderstorp, Ferrari demonstrates having an extremely competitive single-seater. Luca Montezemolo says with a smile:
"We are a bit tired of exploits in qualifying. I would prefer Niki and Clay to start in the second row and then win the race".
Disappointment from the Monaco Grand Prix outcome is still felt, but it's not always the strongest car that manages to stop. And the cars from Maranello offer excellent performances on every track. Along with performance comes the support of a functional organization that the Lotus team mechanics try to imitate. Since variable weather is expected for Sunday, with the possibility of both sun and rain, and therefore the need to change tires during the race, the English mechanics are training to change tires quickly to avoid a fiasco like the one in Spain. Remember? Ferrari mechanics completed the operation in less than 50 seconds, while Lotus specialists took over two minutes, making a big mistake with Ickx. For the record, the Britons have now reduced their time to 49 seconds. Arturo Merzario will not participate in the Swedish Grand Prix. The Italian driver, with his usual lionhearted courage, came to Anderstorp despite having a fractured right-hand index finger. He tried to get on the track, but after three laps, he had to give up.
"A terrible pain; I would have bet on being able to do it, and instead... I'm really sorry".
The Italian's Iso is entrusted to Richard Robarts, who doesn't have a splinted finger but also lacks a third of Arturo Merzario's skill. Early morning rain on Saturday is not encouraging, but the weather soon clears, and a warm sun dries things quickly. Everyone goes off with a rush, conscious that the previous day’s practice has not really sorted out the grid positions, but almost as quickly everyone stops. The electrical timing apparatus is down, but it is soon rectified, and practice got under way again. The morale of the two Surtees drivers is so low that their times are not representative at all, Pace being only a fraction faster in the dry than Jarier is in the wet, and Pace is one of the hard-chargers when he feels like it. So is Jochen Mass. One driver who really does keep on trying is Peterson, and though he drives the Lotus 76 very briefly, with huge temporary scoops on the side to gather more air for the radiators, it is with the Lotus 72 that he is concentrating his efforts. Between the two sessions on Saturday the Ferrari team takes their gearboxes apart and altered the fourth and fifth ratios, taking it longer than the interval, so that Lauda and Regazzoni lose some of the final practice time. The qualifying sessions for the Swedish Grand Prix conclude with a surprise: the return of Tyrrell among the protagonists of Formula 1. The Frenchman Patrick Depailler secured the pole position, and his teammate, the South African Jody Scheckter, claimed the second-best time. In the second row, following the two blue cars, are the red Ferraris of Lauda and Regazzoni, which now represent a solid point in the World Championship for their consistent performance. Then, there are Peterson with the Lotus, Hunt with the Hesketh, and Ickx with the second Lotus. Emerson Fittipaldi, with the McLaren, only managed the ninth-best time and will start from the fifth row on the grid tomorrow. However, Anderstorp is not Monaco: overtaking is easy, and the Brazilian shouldn't have too many problems making up ground. It's his car, though, that doesn't seem to be in great shape, especially in the front suspension. Patrick Depailler, 30 years old, in his ninth Formula 1 Grand Prix, says:
"To be honest, I am the most surprised. I didn't think I could go so fast".
In the last minutes of the three hours of practice (finally without rain), the Frenchman set an excellent time of 1'24"758, with an average speed of 170.659 km/h. Some claim that Depailler used very soft compound tires for this exploit, not suitable for the race, but Ken Tyrrell denies it.
"Why are you so surprised?"
He asks with a big smile.
"My cars have always been competitive. Now, with miles under their belts, Patrick and Jody have gained experience and can fully exploit them. Anyway, please, let's postpone the compliments until tomorrow, after the race. The important thing is to win".
Lauda set a time of 1'25"1. The Austrian was slower than Scheckter by 0.1s and Depailler by 0.4s. Very close differences. Within a little over a second, we find nine drivers, which bodes well for an exciting and balanced battle in this seventh round of the World Championship. Ferrari aimed for record times in the first hour and a half of practice, reserving the second part for finding the most suitable tires for the race. The Anderstorp circuit, which forces Lauda and Regazzoni through eleven gear changes with speeds ranging from 100 km/h to 270-280 km/h, includes a series of challenging curves. Engineer Giacomo Caliri explains:
"We definitely have to use hard compound tires on the left wheels".
This means that in the race, probably the cars from Maranello - and others - will start with different types of tires. There are no more connections between Formula 1 and road cars. Niki Lauda says:
"We absolutely must earn some points because the world championship is approaching a crucial point. Unfortunately, I didn't gain any in Monaco, and it's a serious handicap. Now even Peterson can join the title fight".
Clay Regazzoni adds:
"We wasted numerous opportunities to break away, taking advantage of the exceptional level of performance offered by our cars on every track. Now others who we didn't have to consider before are improving, like those from Tyrrell. However, qualifying times, especially here, have relative value: to win at Anderstorp, you have to have made the right tire choice. One might think everything is fine and then, after ten laps, find themselves losing two or three seconds per lap".
Luca Montezemolo concludes:
"On this track, there are none of the space problems of Monaco, so at a certain point, we preferred to give up attempts at exploits and search for the best setups for the race. The Swedish Grand Prix is wide open, and Ferrari has the chance to play all its cards seriously".
Peterson and Fittipaldi also give more credit to Ferrari than Tyrrell. The Swede states:
"Despite the performances of Depailler and Scheckter, I think the race will be decided among Fittipaldi, Lauda, and me".
And the Brazilian driver adds:
"I am amazed by Tyrrell's performance, but I fear Peterson and the Ferraris above all. In fact, I am afraid that Lauda and Regazzoni are too strong for my chances".
The weather forecast for Sunday, June 9, 1974, is not too promising so a repeat of the Spanish Grand Prix pit-stop drama can be envisaged, and Team Lotus spends some time practicing wheel-changes. The pits at Anderstorp being small, primitive, and crowded, the Formula One Constructors Association comes up with an excellent idea of using the front of the pits and the back of the pits, to give more room. The organisers hurriedly rip the back out of the existing pits, erect a barrier across the paddock to form a lane behind the pits, and Chapman (in pit number 1) and Tyrrell (in pit number 2) draw lots to see who should have the front pit and who should have the back pit. Chapman loses, so his team has to work from the back of the pits, while Tyrrell’s team works from the front. From then on along the line of pits the team’s keep their same pit, but alternated front to rear, and everyone have much more space and is very happy. It is fortunate that the pit/paddock area has more than enough space available to allow plenty of room for the run-in and for the run-out. As things turns out the weather improved steadily, and the only clouds in the sky are light fluffy ones and the sun grows hotter all the time, but nobody doubted the wisdom of the double-sided pit idea. First thing in the morning, before a series of national races took place, everyone has the opportunity for a last final fling, with no times being recorded, and poor Tom Belso literally flings his Williams car up the road when the suspension collapse on him. Although the race is not due to start until 1:30 p.m. there is no possibility of repairing it, so Robans is made to stand down and Belso takes his car Fittipaldi also decided to change cars, preferring the feel of the spare McLaren to his usual one, these sort of last-minute changes being allowed by the 1974 Csi ruling, providing the driver does not change make of car. After a warmup lap the cars form up in grid order in front of the pits, with Kinunen taking the place of the unfortunate Robarts, while Schuppan, who is the slowest in practice, was told to join in on the back just in case anyone drops out, thus ensuring 25 cars starting. All 26 cars set off on the pace lap round to the starting line, led by the two Tyrrell, everyone keeping station behind them.
There is a pause on the starting grid and then everyone is away to start the so laps race, including Schuppan, as no-one had signalled anything to him. While Peterson is carving his way through from the third row, to tuck in behind Scheckter, who has made a good start, Depailler is not so quick and has to follow the black and gold Lotus into the first corner. While all this was going on Pescarolo’s B.R.M. was developing flames around the back end, and while the field goes away on the opening lap the B.R.M. pulls off the track and is doused by the fire-marshals. Scheckter leads from Peterson, Depailler, Lauda, Regazzoni, Reutemann, Hunt, Jarier, lckx, Fittipaldi, Hailwood, and Hulme and on only the second time round Roos retires to the pits with a broken gearbox, while next time round Beltoise does likewise with a broken engine. With a clear road in front, Scheckter begets to pull out a small lead, while the rest down to Hailwood run nose-to-tail, nobody looking like doing anything desperate. At six laps Hailwood coasts to a stop out on the circuit, a leak in the main fuel system cutting off the supply to the engine. At nine laps the front and the back of the field suffers a loss, Peterson coming to a stop with a broken rear drive-shaft and Kinnunen coming to a stop on the runway with a dead engine. The Lotus 72 retirement leaves the Tyrrell cars first and second and soon a situation of stale-mate set in, the circuit not encouraging anyone to do anything heroic. The field divides into two parts, the first one containing a procession of aces and professionals, with the cheeky Brambilla doing a splendid job hanging on to them, and the second part comprising the amateurs and also-rans, who are actually enjoying a little private battle far more than the front runners. Mass, Belso and von Opel are racing against other, while just ahead of them the tow Lolas are giving a nose-to-tail demonstration like the two Tyrrells out at the front of the race. One by one the enfeebled begins to drop by the wayside, Reutemann calling at his pit with failing fuel pressure, only to find the back of the car covers in oil from the engine breathers, so it is withdrawn before it blew up. lckx stops with electrical problems and then gives up altogether with low oil pressure, and Pace gives up in disgust.
Regazzoni’s Ferrari breaks its gearbox, and Lauda is not going as well as he should have done, for the right rear suspension is collapsing and the wheel is leaning inwards. His reduced pace was holding up Hunt, who has badly wanted to get by, but there is no possibility round the wiggly part of the circuit, and the Hesketh cannot out-speed the Ferrari down the straight. All the time the two Tyrrell’s are pulling further and further away into the distance, pit signals telling them to take it easy and drop their maximum rev-limit by 1000 RPM. There is no opposition behind them, with the remaining Ferrari sagging visibly, Hunt boxed in, the two McLarens of Fittipaldi and Hulme running so slowly that Brambilla is giving them trouble, and the charging Jarier having been deflated by first of all making a nonsense and missing a gear-change on the opening lap, and a little while later having the on-board fire-extinguisher system going off. Watson and Wisell are having a nice little scrap together, for ninth place, but it did not last, as Watson has to stop to change a tyre on the brown Brabham, and Wisell goes out at three-quarter race - distance when a pivot bolt in the rear suspension breaks. Schuppan is having a lonely drive round on his own, right at the back of the field, but keeps going as no-one signalled him to stop racing, and when it is all over, he finds himself excluded from the official results. Mass skates off the track when the front suspension of his Surtees breaks, and Hulme drags himself to a stop when the rear suspension breaks on his McLaren. The troublesome rear suspension mounting point on Lauda’s Ferrari is gradually tearing the welded joint away, and as the wheel leans inwards the load is being transmitted to the final drive unit and the gearbox and the young Austrian is having difficulty changing gear.
Finally the transmission gave up the unequal struggle and the second Ferrari retires to the pits, leaving Hunt a clear track at last. However, there were only ten laps to go, and though the blonde Englishman put on a stirring display in gaining ground on the two Tyrrells, even if he has caught them there would have been little hope of getting past them. Both Scheckter and Depailler know exactly what is going on, the South African setting just the right pace, with his agitated French team-mate closed up behind him, and though the last minute flurry by Hunt and the Hesketh wakes everyone from their stupor it is a bit meaningless, and the Tyrrells cruises home to an impressive 1-2, on reliability and practicality rather than genius and inspiration, those last two qualities being strew around the circuit where their progenitors have fallen by the wayside. As the Tyrrells completes their last lap Brambilla’s March seizes its Cosworth engine and coasts to a stop short of the finishing line, losing a worthy sixth place, dropping to tenth in the results. In the Formula 1 sky, the star of Tyrrell shines brightly again, thanks to the young South African Jody Scheckter, who won the Swedish Grand Prix, preceding his teammate Patrick Depailler. A one-two finish reminiscent of many past victories, when Stewart and Cevert were behind the wheel of the blue cars. One lap before the end, when his two blue machines were practically unreachable, Ken Tyrrell laughed and cried. Then, when Scheckter and Depailler arrived at the pits, he embraced and kissed them. Drinking mineral water, the three surprise protagonists of this Swedish Grand Prix make their first statements. Ken Tyrrell says:
"It has never happened that we started with two cars in the front row and finished first and second. Tonight we will bathe in champagne".
Jody Scheckter adds:
"Everything went magnificently well".
He then publicly thanks Depailler, who battled him but wisely. Patrick Depailler, dealing with a girlfriend overwhelmed with joy, keeps repeating how happy he is with the second position. Emerson Fittipaldi, with the McLaren, finished fourth, earning valuable points for the World Championship, while the Ferraris of Regazzoni and Lauda, and the Lotuses of Peterson and Ickx retired. What seemed like a surprise on the last day of practice has become an undisputed reality. Ken Tyrrell has managed, race after race, to refine his car and adapt it to the needs of Scheckter and Depailler, who are not yet Stewart or Cevert.
Signs of this improvement had been seen in the last races, especially in Monaco, but from now on, Tyrrell presents itself as an additional rival for everyone. Not for nothing, Scheckter is now tied at 21 points in the World Championship standings, on par with Lauda. It's truly an interesting championship. Scheckter and Depailler led the race from start to finish, progressively increasing their lead over their rivals, who, one by one, gave up. Towards the end, Tyrrell signaled to his two drivers to slow down, and Hunt, with the Hesketh, took advantage to get within just 3 seconds. The English manager prevented Depailler from overtaking Scheckter, who was better placed in the title fight. A one-sided Grand Prix, even though initially Peterson, Lauda, and Regazzoni tried to fight with Scheckter and Depailler. But the Swede, who at Anderstorp, in his home country, seemed one of the most authoritative candidates for victory, had to retire in the eighth lap due to a broken half-shaft, while the two Ferrari drivers, for different reasons, couldn't keep up with the pace of the blue cars. Regazzoni experienced a drop in engine power (500 RPM less than usual), so his 312-B3 had less acceleration at the exit of the curves and on the straight. Lauda had to deal with a car that was very difficult to drive due to excessive understeer caused by the gradual failure of a rear suspension attachment. In fact, it could be seen during braking that the right wheel, under stress, leaned. In these conditions, the Austrian was very skillful in resisting Hunt's attacks. However, for both, the reason for retirement was the same. On the B3s of Regazzoni and Lauda, the gearbox broke, especially a gear in the third gear, the one under more stress on this circuit. It's an issue that didn't arise in private or official tests, but, unfortunately, races are always an irreplaceable test. It's one more problem to solve, but Ferrari's technicians have found suitable solutions for even more delicate issues this year. Luca Montezemolo says:
"Clearly, we can't talk about bad luck today. Tyrrell was stronger in practice and in the race. We faced troubles that ultimately fall within the realm of competition. Ferrari will redouble its efforts to prevent these issues from recurring and to keep Lauda, Regazzoni, and the cars in contention for the championship".
The situation, in fact, is not compromised. It's clear that it's regrettable to see the Swiss and the Austrian return home without a single point for all their hard work, but in practice, the changes are quite limited. The usual lucky one, Fittipaldi, increases his advantage slightly, and Scheckter enters the picture. Montezemolo concludes:
"We are eager to win, and I hope that in the upcoming circuits, especially at Brands Hatch and the Nürburgring, which are particularly suitable for Ferraris, we can fulfill this desire".
The race, as mentioned, was a one-sided affair. Scheckter and Depailler unreachable in the lead, and behind them, a progressive selection that eventually brought Fittipaldi forward. The Brazilian found a clear path, and from the tenth position in the initial laps, he sailed happily to fourth. Sometimes, it's unclear whether to admire Fittipaldi's class or his luck: for example, Hulme and Hailwood, with the same cars, had to retire due to a broken suspension and a fuel leak. Vittorio Brambilla, with his March, had a simply splendid race. The Italian driver passed many opponents, and on the penultimate lap, he was behind Emerson. His Cosworth failed just in the last kilometers of the Swedish Grand Prix, taking away a placement that was worth a victory and the great satisfaction of a position in the World Championship standings. For Italian drivers and Maranello cars, it was a race full of bitter notes. However, Ferrari has the men and means to calmly overcome this setback. Sunday night, there is no anger apparent in the Maranello team, but everyone shows the determination of those who rightfully do not give up and want to continue steadfastly on their path. From the Lotus box, the comments are few and brief. Ronnie Peterson says:
"It went badly. And to think that I really wanted to win in front of my home crowd".
The mechanics shake their heads in dismay. At Ferrari, the value of the two Tyrrell cars is recognized, and no excuses are sought.
But a promise is made:
"We will bounce back soon".
And Clay Regazzoni adds:
"Despite the drop in engine power, I could have maintained my position until the end. Needless to say, I'm sorry not to have been able to collect even a point for the championship. The situation is becoming quite delicate, and now Scheckter has been added to complicate things".
Niki Lauda recounts:
"I really struggled a lot to control the car. The understeer phenomenon started immediately, around the tenth lap. I think, however, that Hunt wouldn't have been able to overtake me in the end. I gave up only when I could no longer shift gears".
At McLaren, a measured and sly Fittipaldi, as always, says:
"I run my races and accumulate points. If I win due to the misfortunes of others? No. I live on my methodical approach".
Vittorio cries in a corner and despairs. An Italian journalist embraces him and tries to encourage him.
"When will this bad luck end? If only things went well for me once, I would end up winning a race".
Anderstorp empties out: 70.000 Swedes return home with sad faces; the three local idols, with the great Peterson in the lead, all retired. Over 70.000 people paid for admission to attend the Swedish Grand Prix, the largest sporting event ever organized in Northern Europe. The revenue was 4.000.000 crowns. Exactly half of that would have been enough for the event to be economically profitable. To avoid paying only taxes, the organizers decide to donate the profits to the Municipality of Anderstorp, which will use it to build a new middle school. Immediately after the end of the Swedish Grand Prix, the Ferrari, Shadow, and McLaren trucks leave, escorted by the highway police, heading to the ferry to Germany. Traveling all night, they will arrive in Zandvoort on Tuesday, where the Dutch Grand Prix will take place. On Tuesday, Niki Lauda will take to the track. Ferrari, continuing its technical-organizational effort, will send its men on Saturday and Sunday to Le Castellet. This time it will be Clay Regazzoni. On the French track, which has a very long straight, the Swiss driver will be tasked with testing a series of new solutions for the 312-B3 in view of the upcoming races on fast circuits, such as Zeltweg, Monza, and Watkins Glen. It mainly involves aerodynamic innovations, including a wing with a double vane shape, reminiscent of the tails of jumbo jets.