Sir Jackie Ste­wart

on Sir Jack Brab­ham (ri­vals 1965-70)

F1 Racing - - THE FEATURES -

Jack was the quiet man of mo­tor rac­ing. Very re­served, quite shy – but he was al­ways pre­pared to stand up and make him­self heard when it counted. I re­mem­ber when the Grand Prix Driv­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion met – on the day of the me­mo­rial ser­vice for Piers Courage – to dis­cuss whether or not we should race at the Nür­bur­gring for the 1970 Ger­man Grand Prix. The or­gan­is­ers hadn’t com­plied with our re­quests to im­prove safety fa­cil­i­ties. It was hard for some of the driv­ers to sup­port a boy­cott be­cause they were un­der pres­sure from their teams to race. But Jack – who wasn’t a great one for speak­ing in pub­lic – stood up and said, “I don’t think we should race, be­cause if we back down, no cir­cuits will ever lis­ten to us again.” It was Jack who tipped the bal­ance and we all owe him thanks for that. On the track, though, he was a very tough com­peti­tor. Hard but fair – usu­ally. If you were chas­ing him, he’d some­times cut a cor­ner a lit­tle bit to give you a bit of a gravel shower – you’d have to duck down in­side the cock­pit to avoid it! In For­mula 2 it was even harder be­cause he had quite pow­er­ful Honda en­gines and it would of­ten turn into a slip­stream­ing race where you never quite knew what to ex­pect from him at the end of the straight.

Jack was very sup­port­ive to­wards me early in my ca­reer and we re­mained great friends. I was very pleased to see him at the Aus­tralian Grand Prix this year. I think he knew it was his time and I’m glad he passed away peace­fully. It was a priv­i­lege to count him as a friend.

Jackie Ste­wart leading Jack Brab­ham at Kyalami in 1969

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