Tributes have poured in from the racing world for Sir Jack Brabham, who died yesterday at the age of 88. Here is a selection.
MARK WEBBER – Grand prix winner turned LMP1 racer
“I was saddened to hear the news of Jack’s passing today – he is the epitome of a champion racing driver and a true blue Aussie. 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. There were no real rules or a manual for Jack; he figured it for himself. What he achieved taking on the best in the world and winning one of his three world titles in his own machinery is the stuff of pure legends.
“On a personal note, Jack was simply the biggest name in the Webber household. He was inspirational. My dad followed his career from when he raced in Australia and then did his best to keep track of Jack’s progress when he moved overseas to take on the best in the world.
“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 confidante – 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 motivation – the ones he wanted to beat in his day!
Jack and Margaret were always generous with their time and I’m proud that, although I was unable to repay that support by joining him and Alan Jones as world champions, I gave him some very happy moments by winning some of the more prestigious special grands prix.
“To Margaret, Geoff, Gary and David and their respective families, you are very much in our thoughts at this sad time. Jack was a legend in the truest sense of the word, an inspirational Aussie battler and someone who will never be forgotten.”
DANIEL RICCIARDO – Red Bull F1 driver
“Sorry to hear about Sir Jack Brabham. A great Australian who inspired many Aussies to pursue our dreams.”
DOUG BOLES – Indianapolis Motor Speedway president
“Every time an Indycar runs at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, you can find roots that trace back to Jack Brabham’s rear-engined Cooper Climax T54 that he drove to ninth place in the 1961 Indianapolis 500.
“In addition to starting the rear-engine revolution at IMS, Brabham competed in four Indianapolis 500 mile races and designed race cars that competed in the 500.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Brabham family, especially with his son and former Indianapolis 500 competitor Geoff Brabham and his grandson and current Indy Lights competitor Matthew Brabham.”
LEWIS HAMILTON – 2008 F1 champion
“RIP Sir Jack Brabham. What an amazing driver and man.”
MITCH EVANS – GP2 frontrunner
“Saddened to wake up to the passing of Sir Jack Brabham. One of the most impressive pioneers and drivers motorsport has ever seen.”
ALLAN MCNISH – Le Mans winner and WEC champion
“Sad news on the passing of Sir Jack Brabham. A great champion and grandfather of a family racing dynasty.”
EAMON “CHAULKIE” FULLALOVE – engineer at Brabham in Indy and Formula 1, 1968-’69
“Jack was better than 90 percent of the people in racing because he used common sense. He was a self-taught engineer and had a good grasp of the basics. He’d come into the shop every Saturday, put on a a white coat, get on the lathe and work all day. He was the only man to ever design and drive his own car to an F1 championship. He was a good driver, a hard worker and a great man.”
KARUN CHANDHOK – ex-F1 driver turned sportscar racer
“Sad news about Sir Jack Brabham passing away. A true legend. Created a great racing dynasty of fast sons and grandsons.”
MARTIN BRUNDLE – F1 commentary and former driver
“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.”
DICK JOHNSON – five-time Australian touring car champion
“Sir Jack was a legend in the truest sense and his achievements throughout his career are incredible. A great man with a remarkable legacy.”
RYAN BRISCOE – IndyCar driver
“So sad to hear about the passing of Sir Jack Brabham today… My thoughts are with the Brabham family.”
WILL POWER – IndyCar driver
“Sad to hear of the passing of Sir Jack Brabham. An absolute pioneer of motor racing. My condolences to the Brabham family.”
JOHNNY HERBERT – ex-F1 driver
“Really sad news with the passing of Sir Jack Brabham, a world champion, and great man. RIP. My thoughts go to all his family.”
JACK HARVEY – Indy Lights driver
“RIP Sir Jack, a true legend of our sport. A triple world champion when men were men!”
JAMES COURTNEY – 2010 V8 Supercars champion
“Feel honoured to have enjoyed Sir Jack’s company and expertise many times in my career. He always had time and a good story. An inspirational man.”
DARIO FRANCHITTI – four-time IndyCar champion
“Rest in peace Jack Brabham, one of the giants of our sport.”
GARTH TANDER – 2007 V8 Supercars champion
“Legend is a term often over-used in our sport, but today our sport lost a true legend in Sir Jack Brabham.”
ALISTAIR CALDWELL – McLaren F1 team manager in 1970s
“RIP Jack Brabham – great self-taught car engineer, sadly of a type long gone from the F1 scene.”
RON DENNIS – McLaren Group CEO
“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.”