Veil, Sir Jack Brabham. l don't remember much about his first two world titles, but l remember him winning in 1966 in the mighty little Repco Brabham, when F1 first went over to the 3 litre formula. The team backed it up in 1967 with Kiwi Denny Hulme taking the championship and Jack runner up. What the cars lacked in outright power they made up in simplicity and reliability. l did get to see him race, against the legendary Fangio out at Sandown. Okay it wasn't really a race as such. Fangio was in one of the mighty Silver Arrows from the 1930s with a 6 litre engine and 600 horsepower. Jack was literally in something half that size. l have waited for years for some savvy team to bring the Brabham name back to F1. BMW did it for a while with quite a bit success, someone else needs to the same.
There have only been about a dozen people who have won multiple Formula One World Championships. Thankfully the lion's share of them are still among us â€“ names like Vettel, Alonso, Hakkinen, Lauda, Prost,Piquet, Fittipaldi and Stewart. Michael Schumacher is hanging on, but Senna, Fangio, Ascari and Graham Hill have all since departed this Earth. And we're bereaved to report that they'll have company as Jack Brabham has passed away.
The Australian driver started his career in midget racing and hillclimb events, working his way up to his F1 debut at the British Grand Prix in 1955. By 1958, after a few years in Formula 2, he was a permanent fixture on the F1 grid, winning the Monaco Grand Prix the next year en route to his first world title. He won a second with Cooper the following year, but after a fruitless 1961 he returned with his own team. In 1966 he won his third and final championship, putting him on equal footing in the history books with Lauda, Piquet, Senna and Stewart, but setting him apart by one notable metric: he was and remains still the only driver to win the championship in his own car.
Sir Jack won another handful of grands prix before retiring in 1970, selling his team (which went on to win another few championships with Denny Hulme and Nelson Piquet) initially to his collaborator Ron Tauranac, who in turn sold it to Bernie Ecclestone. Several of Jack's sons and grandsons have since gone on to race professionally. Jack Brabham died peacefully on Monday at his home on Australia's Gold Coast at the age of 88.