• Sir Jack Brabham 1926-2014

'Australia has lost a legend'

ESPN Staff
May 19, 2014
Sir Jack Brabham leaves behind a remarkable legacy in F1 © Sutton Images
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Tributes have poured in from across the F1 world following the death of three-time world champion Sir Jack Brabham on Monday morning.

Brabham is the only man to win a title in a car of his own making, which he did when he secured his third title in 1966. He passed away "peacefully" at his home on the Gold Coast and leaves a legacy as one of the finest drivers in the history of Formula One.

Australian prime minister Tony Abbott said: "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."

McLaren boss Ron Dennis, who worked alongside Brabham at Cooper and then at the team he created, 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."

[He was] never apparently blocking intentionally, but somehow or other he was incredibly difficult to pass

Sir Jackie Stewart, himself a three-time world champion, also paid tribute to Brabham for the toughness he showed time and time again on track.

"He died peacefully and unexpectedly, although he had been ill for some time. I saw him this year in Australia and we had a good chat. Jack was a fierce competitor and a modest and almost shy man, but a great three-time world champion who accomplished more than any other driver in the history of Grand Prix racing.

"Not only did he win the world championship three times, but he won driving his own car, which is a feat I suspect will never be matched. He was an extremely talented driver and very deceptively fast. He was also a very aggressive driver and probably one of the most difficult men to overtake - never apparently blocking intentionally, but somehow or other he was incredibly difficult to pass.

"He was a tough, hard driver and a hugely important part of motor-racing history. I am very fortunate to have been able to call him a friend and I am glad to have lived in the era of Jack Brabham.

Other tributes came in on Monday morning on Twitter:

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