Tributes pour in for Sir Jack Brabham

Sir Jack Brabham with the bronze bust unveiled in tribute to his achievements in Melbourne last year

Sir Jack Brabham with the bronze bust unveiled in tribute to his achievements in Melbourne last year

The Formula 1 world has been united in praise and admiration for the role of Sir Jack Brabham in Formula 1, and the history of motorsport for that matter, since he passed away at his home in Australia.

Leading the tributes was former Brabham mechanic and  McLaren Group Chairman and CEO, Ron Dennis, who said, “The word ‘legend’ is often used to describe successful sportsmen, but often it exaggerates their status. In the case of Sir Jack Brabham, however, it’s entirely justified.

“A three-time Formula 1 world champion, he remains the only driver to win a Formula 1 world championship driving a car bearing his own name – a unique achievement that will surely never be matched.”

“When I started out in Formula 1 in the late 1960s, I worked first for Cooper and then for Brabham. Even as a callow youth, I could recognise greatness when I saw it, and I’ll always regard it as an honour and a privilege to have worked for Sir Jack. I learned a lot from him too.”

“So, on behalf of all at McLaren, I’d like to pay tribute to one of the most illustrious names in motor racing history, and above all to extend heartfelt condolences to Sir Jack’s widow Margaret and his three sons Geoff, David and Gary. Sir Jack Brabham, legend, RIP,” concluded Dennis.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott: “Australia has lost a legend. With his pioneering spirit, Sir Jack Brabham personified many great Australian characteristics. He was respected and admired for his spirit, and for his great skill as an engineer.”

Murray Walker: “It is a sad day. He travelled over to Britain from Australia at a time when that journey was more demanding than it is now. It was Jack’s engineering skill that made the Cooper so successful. As well as being an outstanding driver – just a small fraction down from the very best – he was a very skilled engineer and a very astute businessman.”

Sir Stirling Moss: “My career would have been far less if it had not been for him because every race we would fight against each other trying to beat each other. He was a terrific driver. A really hard guy to race against because he was good. He was a man I enjoyed being with as well as driving with and against. On track he was always the toughest of tough competitors, tough sometimes to the point at which I’d wonder how could such a nice bloke out of a car grow such horns and a tail inside one,” his British rival Moss recalled in the foreword to The Jack Brabham Story in 2004. But the greater side of Jack’s character was always his natural sportsmanship.”

Mark Webber: “He was a trailblazer; he took the hardest road and made it easier for the rest of us to follow. When I think of Jack, I think of a tenacious individual; an absolute grafter; he did it his own way and made it stick.”

FIA President Jean Todt said: “It is with great sadness that I learned today of the passing of Sir Jack Brabham, a true legend of our sport, and I would like to express my sincere condolences to his wife, Lady Margaret and to his three sons, Geoff, Gary and David. Not only was Jack a determined racer who won 14 grands prix, he was also an inspired constructor who remains the only man to have won a Formula One title at the wheel of a car built by his own team. That is a remarkable achievement in itself but in the years that followed his retirement from competition he proved to be a fine ambassador for motor sport and an inspiration to generations of Australian racing drivers. He will be sadly missed.”

President of the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport, Andrew Papadopoulos: “It’s with a heavy heart that I speak of this tragic news. On behalf of the Australian motor sport community, I want to offer our condolences to Sir Jack’s family and friends.”

On Twitter:

  • Renault Sport: Our thoughts are with the family of Sir Jack Brabham, a thoroughbred #Legend. RIP.
  • Sahara Force India: Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Sir Jack Brabham, a true legend of Formula One 1926-2014.
  • Lotus F1 Team: Sir Jack Brabham. A true #legend. May you rest in peace.
  • Red Bull Racing: We are very sorry to hear about the passing of Sir Jack Brabham – a true Formula One legend. Our thoughts are with his friends and family.
  • Mercedes AMG F1 Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Sir Jack Brabham; 1926 – 2014 #Legend
  • Daniel Ricciardo: Sorry to hear about Sir Jack Brabham. A great Australian who inspired many Aussies to pursue our dreams.
  • Romain Grosjean: R.I.P Sir Jack Brabham.
  • Max Chilton: RIP Sir Jack Brabham
  • Giedo van der Garde: R.I.P Sir Brabham #legend.
  • Karun Chandhok: Sad news about Sir Jack Brabham passing away. A true legend & created a great racing dynasty of fast sons & grandsons ! #RIP #FastGenes.
  • Martin Brundle: Very sad to learn that Sir Jack Brabham has died. One of the most respected pioneers of motorsport on many levels. Great driver, quality man.

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