A Racing Dynasty - Brabham F1
Triple Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jack Brabham is not only heralded as one of the greatest racing drivers of the sport’s golden ages. He is also renowned for creating one of the most iconic F1 teams in history.
Founded in 1961 by Sir Jack and designer Ron Tauranac, Motor Racing Developments – better known as Brabham – won a total of four Drivers’ and two Constructors’ Formula 1 World Championships. Its 30-year reign produced 35 Grand Prix victories and 120 podiums, partnered with engine manufacturers Coventry-Climax, Repco, Cosworth, Alfa Romeo and BMW, while attracting notable drivers such as Dan Gurney, Denny Hulme, Jochen Rindt, Jacky Ickx, Graham Hill, Niki Lauda and Nelson Piquet.
Brabham was the world’s largest manufacturer of over 500 single-seater racing cars from its Surbiton workshop in the 1960s, its customer cars achieving numerous Formula 1, Formula 2 and Formula 3 accolades, as well as competing at the Indianapolis 500 and in Formula 5000.
From its first full season in 1962, it wasn’t long before Brabham became a force in Formula 1 and Sir Jack claimed the team’s first victory at the non-championship 1963 Solitude Grand Prix, Germany, in the Brabham BT3 Coventry-Climax. While Gurney earned the first World Championship race victories at the French and Mexican Grands Prix in 1964, the team recorded two thirds and one fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship from ’63 to ’65.
In 1966, Sir Jack became the first and only driver in history to win the Formula 1 World Championship in a car bearing his own name – a feat unlikely to ever be repeated. Under his ownership, the team took both of its Constructors’ titles and a further Drivers’ crown, Denny Hulme continuing the Brabham Repco’s domination in 1967, with Sir Jack coming second.
Remaining a dominant force right up until 1970, Sir Jack took his last team victory at the South African Grand Prix before retiring and selling his team share to Tauranac. Taken over by Bernie Ecclestone in 1972, Brabham won two further World Championships with Nelson Piquet, including the first with a turbo charged car - the Brabham BT52 BMW - in 1983.
Following a consecutive switch of owners after Eccelstone’s sale of the team in 1988, Middlebridge Group Limited gained control in 1990 and the Brabham brand went full circle, as Jack’s youngest son David made his F1 debut. But with the then under-funded outfit struggling to keep pace with its rivals, he was afforded a single season before the team ceased competition in 1992.
Building on Sir Jack’s early pioneering influence, the marque became renowned for its engineering excellence and went on to introduce innovations such as in-race refuelling, hydropneumatic suspension and carbon-carbon brakes, which are still used in F1 today. ... Back