The life of Formula 1 legend Sir Jack Brabham was celebrated in a special event at Silverstone Circuit in England yesterday as his closest family and friends came together to honor his achievements and legacy.
Brabham was the first Australian to win the Formula 1 world championship in 1959, and went on to also clinch the title in 1960 and 1966.
Brabham’s third and final championship was particularly poignant as it came in a car that he had designed himself for his own team. He remains the only driver to have achieved such a feat in F1 history.
In a special event at Silverstone on Friday, over 400 people gathered to celebrate Brabham’s life following his death back in May at the age of 88. The memorial service was led by his son, David, and attended by many of his contemporaries including Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart and John Surtees.
“It was a special day for the Brabham family to have over 400 people turn up for the event, and to have some of the racing greats take time out to tell their stories about Jack was extremely touching,” David Brabham said. “We had a fantastic response from those wishing to attend and the media interest was staggering.
“It was a marvellous opportunity for friends and fans to get together and remember ‘Black Jack’, and also support one of Dad’s charities, Kidney Research. I’d like to thank the BRDC, Silverstone and my Brabham team members for a superbly organised event.”
A number of Brabham’s cars were also present for the event, with figures from F1 such as Daniel Ricciardo, Mark Webber and Jean Todt sending special messages in tribute to ‘Black Jack’.
“Jack certainly knew how to drive a car,” said ’50s F1 legend Sir Stirling Moss. “When I think back about him, I think what an amazing man he was. He was fast, he knew what he was doing, he was mechanically savvy with the car, I’d say he was my toughest competitor of all. Every week we were racing against each other in different countries, and it’s difficult to think of anyone who gave me more trouble to be honest.
“He was a very complete racing driver, I tell you that. Racing in those days was a sport, I mean Jack lent me a back axle once in Australia, knowing that I might beat him, that was the kind of man he was. It’s a very special occasion to be here today, but then he was a very special man. I must say I’ve had some of my best ever races against him and I remember him with great joy.”