Their talents and race craft seem obviously full of genius now, but in 1972 it’s all gloom for Ronnie Peterson and teammate Niki Lauda.
They’re considering their dwindling options for the coming season during the 1972 United States Grand Prix.
Driving for STP-March F1 had been a nightmare, as they both hopped from March 721 to March 721x to March 721G in the hope of finding a reliable car with speed.
Peterson, seen as certain-to-be a future World champion, was the more fortunate, scoring a fourth-place that weekend. Lauda was in dire trouble, with no points for the season. He had borrowed heavily to pay for his seat at March and was desperate to find results and monetary return.
Peterson took his otherworldly skill to Lotus for 1973 where he would win four Grands Prix and finish third in the World Driver’s Championship. He would lose his life at Monza in 1978.
Niki Lauda would move to Marlboro-BRM in 1973 and then to Scuderia Ferrari in ‘74 where he would win the 1975 and 1977 World Driver’s Championships, and lose the 1976 championship by one point despite his crash at the Nurburgring.
Lauda would add his third Driver’s title with McLaren in 1984.