Perhaps the only good thing to come from the passing of Sir Jack Brabham is a greater realisation of his enviable, and in many ways unmatched, stature in the world of Formula 1 and motorsport in general.
Equally happy with a spanner in his hand as he was with a steering wheel, Sir Jack excelled in an era where graft and wherewithal were as influential as bundles of cash are today. As Australian F1 fans we should be very proud of his achievementsâ€”especially his 1966 championship, won in his own carâ€”and his family doubly so.
It’s no surprise that the tributes have been many since his death. Over the last couple of days we’ve assembled a collection of material that both honours Brabham’s legacy and helps to serve his reputation. Be sure to check out the videos and photos after the break, too, you’ll be glad you did.
Mark Webber: I was very fortunate that I was introduced to Jack before I left Australia and to be in his presence as a 17 or 18-year old as I must have been at the time, just blew me away. He provided me with endless support and advice over the years and became a close confidanteâ€”even right up until the last couple of years when, after hearing the rumours that I might move to Ferrari, he told me he would be very disappointed if I went there because for him, it was the absolute betrayal because they were his motivationâ€”the ones he wanted to beat in his day!
Alan Jones: Jack will be the remembered as the greatest Australian racing driver. He is not only the greatest driver this country has produced but is one of the worldâ€™s best.
Dan Gurney: A fierce competitor, an outstanding engineer, a tiger of a driver, an excellent politician and a hands-on creator and visionary; he opened the rear-engine door at Indianapolis and raced there. He was a doer, a true Aussie pioneer!
Derek Bell: Above all he created cars in Formula 2 and 3 which allowed numerous young drivers to drive safe fast cars and make names for themselves, myself included. They might not have always been the quickest, but overall the cars never let you down and if not always winning they would always be there at the end!
Edd Straw (Autosport+): What is remarkable about Brabham is that it doesn’t matter that, in terms of pure pace, he was not quite on the same level as a Moss or a Stewart. What Brabham did is unequalled in history, winning the world championship in a car of his own. When greats like him are lost, it seems trite to reflect that we won’t ever see their like again. But in the case of ‘Black Jack’â€”a nickname he wasn’t fond ofâ€”it’s absolutely true.
Peter Windsor: A self-starter, a racer who enjoyed tinkering with damper rebound as much as he enjoyed flying his own aircraft and racing anything on wheels (from F1 cars to sports cars to touring cars to Indy cars), Sir Jack at heart was just a straightforward Aussie who loved motor racing first and the glamour and the publicity just about last.
- Brabham/Motor Racing Developments cars (Ron Tauranac)
- Sir Jack Brabham dies aged 88 (ABC, includes audio interviews)
- Jack Brabham (Pitpass)