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The Lotus legend who lived on opposite lock

Ahead of the 40th anniversary of his death at 1978 Italian Grand Prix, NIGEL ROEBUCK remembers Mr 'Opposite Lock,' aka 'Mad Ronald' - Ronnie Peterson

'Mad Ronald', Mike Hailwood used to call him, and if ever you watched him through the old Woodcote, you knew why. From the beginning of his career, Ronnie Peterson was stunningly quick, and from the beginning, too, he lived on opposite lock.

"Any number of times," said Jackie Stewart, "I'd follow him into a corner, and think, 'Uh-oh, Ronnie, you've overdone it this time - you're gone!' Somehow, though, he always seemed to get it back, and it never surprised me the fans loved him - he was exciting to watch from where I was, too!"

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