on Sir Jack Brabham (rivals 1960-70)
When I entered grand prix racing in 1960, I immediately came into contact with Jack, who was already well established. What I respected about him was that he was a great competitor. He would never give up trying, whether he was at the front or the back, and he took this attitude into the driving and building of his own cars. He was someone I always admired. He put together his Australian team with Ron Tauranac and the Repco project. It was brave and it won him the world championship. He put a basic motorcar together with a good characteristic power-curve engine and won it in 1966 when everyone else was stumbling.
I have fond memories of racing him and you could always rely on him to be competitive – but in the right way. Being Australian he learnt his skills on many different surfaces and had superb car control. You weren’t worried he would ram you, but you were never quite sure how wide his circuit was compared to yours and the only way to counteract that sometimes would be to play him at his own game. If he went so far, you’d have to go that bit further.
Jack enjoyed a great longevity in the sport, and one of the major things that contributed to this was, despite coming through a very dangerous period in F1, he escaped having any major mechanical failures that could have led to a serious accident. Because he ran his own team, he was able to control his cars’ build quality himself. It’s a great credit to his career that he achieved so much.
John Surtees leading Jack Brabham at Monaco in 1969