Jack Brabham’s Formula 1 career highlights
Departed Australia to race in England. His grand prix debut came at Aintree that year in a ‘Bobtail’ special Cooper. He retired with a broken valve.
Brabham took back-to-back titles in the innovative rear-engined Rob Walker-run Cooper taking a total of seven grand prix victories – including Monaco – over two seasons. His most satisfying win came at Reims in 1960 when he overcame the powerful Ferraris.
Brabham was back on top of the podium with his new, reliable Repco-engined BT19. Victories came at Reims, Brands Hatch, Zandvoort and the Nürburgring and he clinched his third world title – becoming the first and only driver in the history of the sport to achieve the feat in a car of his own making.
In his final year of F1, Brabham was once again in contention for the title. He won first time out in Kyalami, but lost two races on the last lap. At Monaco he was pressured into a mistake on the final corner, and at Silverstone he ran out of fuel. Both times the beneficiary was Jochen Rindt, who claimed the title (albeit posthumously). Brabham retired aged 44 after 16 seasons, collecting 14 wins and 13 poles. This was Brabham’s first major season racing in Formula 1 as his partnership with the Cooper car company developed. The highlight was sixth place at the Monaco GP, although he pushed his car home after he ran out of fuel – a feat he famously repeated in Sebring when he won the 1959 championship.
Having set up his own team, Brabham started the 1962 season with a Lotus before his own car, the BT3 was ready. The simple spaceframe machine was immediately successful, taking two fourth places at Watkins Glen and South Africa at the end of the year.
Further success for the Brabham name as Jack’s team-mate Denny Hulme won the championship. Jack was runner-up with two wins in France and Canada. A disastrous four-cam engine was a failure the following year and, in 1969, Brabham switched to Ford power.