F1 legend Brabham dead

F1 legend Brabham dead

F1 legend Brabham dead

Formula One great Sir Jack Brabham, one of the sport’s most accomplished drivers and team owners, died on Monday at his home in Australia after a long illness, his family said.

Brabham won three world drivers’ championships and remains the only man to win one in a car he built himself. He was also the first driver to be knighted for services to motorsport.

“It’s a very sad day for all of us. My father passed away peacefully at home at the age of 88 this morning,” son David Brabham said. “He lived an incredible life, achieving more than anyone would ever dream of and he will continue to live on through the astounding legacy he leaves behind.”

The Australian won drivers’ championships in 1959 and 1960 with the Cooper Racing Team and again in 1966 in his own Brabham car.

The motorsport world mourned his passing with fellow Australian Formula One champion Alan Jones hailing him as “inspirational”. The Confederation of Australian Motorsport (CAMS) revered the F1 trailblazer, known as “Black Jack.”

“Brabham’s first two titles in the Cooper Climax marked the end of the era of front-engined Formula 1 cars. In 1959 he famously ran out of fuel at the United States Grand Prix and pushed his car across the finish line to take fourth place and become Australia’s first Formula 1 world champion.

Brabham, a former Royal Australian Air Force mechanic, in later years recounted the amazing tale. 

“My car ran out of petrol about half a mile from the end. I couldn’t do anything but just coast to a stop,” Brabham told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“I eventually stopped about 100 yards from the finishing line, and I started pushing. If anybody assisted me, I’d be disqualified.

“It was a big thrill to me to find out after I was exhausted on the ground, I found out that I’d actually won the championship. It was a fantastic thing.”

In 1966, he became the only driver to win the world championship in a car bearing his own name — the Brabham BT19 Repco, which he designed and built himself.

He also won the constructors’ championship that year, and again in 1967.

Brabham started in 126 Grand Prix from 1955 to 1970, amassing 14 wins, 31 podiums, 13 pole positions and 12 fastest laps.

Acclaimed as one of the best driver-engineers to have competed, technological innovations brought about by the team he created helped shape the sport.

Brabham is survived by his wife, Margaret, and sons Geoff, Gary and David.

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