sport

Moss leads Brabham tributes

Sir Stirling Moss has led the tributes to his long-time Formula One rival Sir Jack Brabham, who has died aged 88.

Brabham, the three-time world champion from Australia, died at his home on the Gold Coast on Monday morning.

Moss, who competed against Brabham in the 1950s and 60s, told BBC Radio Five Live: "My career would have been considerably less without him.

"Every race - and I'm talking 50-odd times a year - we would fight against each other.

"I remember in New Zealand in the early 50s, we were contending the New Zealand grand prix or something like that, and I had a problem with my back axle.

"The first person that came up was Jack and he said 'take it off my spare car', knowing very well that there was a good chance I might beat him.

"That sums him up to me - a real sportsman and a good Aussie."

Brabham won the F1 world title in 1959, 1960 with the Cooper team and in 1966 in a car he had manufactured himself, the Brabham BT19,

The latter win was described as "an extraordinary achievement" by compatriot Alan Jones, the 1980 drivers' champion, who added: "We have lost an iconic Australian sportsperson and a great inspiration to all of us.

"He was very inspirational to me, he taught me that I could pack my bags and go to the other side of the Earth and if I tried hard enough, I could achieve my dream, which is exactly what Sir Jack did.

"He is one of the true great sporting entities of Australia, with (Don) Bradman and Rod Laver and a few of those guys - I think Jack's right up there."

McLaren executive chairman Ron Dennis also paid tribute to Brabham, who he described as a "legend".

Dennis said: "He remains the only driver to win a Formula One world championship driving a car bearing his own name - a unique achievement that will surely never be matched.

"When I started out in Formula One in the late 1960s, I worked first for Cooper and then for Brabham. Even as a callow youth, I could recognise greatness when I saw it, and I'll always regard it as an honour and a privilege to have worked for Sir Jack. I learned a lot from him too.

"So, on behalf of all at McLaren, I'd like to pay tribute to one of the most illustrious names in motor racing history, and above all to extend heartfelt condolences to Sir Jack's widow Margaret and his three sons Geoff, David and Gary.

"Sir Jack Brabham, legend, RIP."

Former F1 commentator Murray Walker said: "It is a sad day. He travelled over to Britain from Australia at a time when that journey was more demanding than it is now.

"It was Jack's engineering skill that made the Cooper so successful. As well as being an outstanding driver - just a small fraction down from the very best - he was a very skilled engineer and a very astute businessman."