May 19, 2014, 1:30 PM EST
Ex-Formula One competitor and Porsche World Endurance Championship driver Mark Webber has penned a touching statement on the loss of three-time F1 World Champion Sir Jack Brabham, whose death at the age of 88 was confirmed yesterday.
Calling him “the epitome of a champion racing driver,” Webber said that the man known as ‘Black Jack’ was an inspiration to him and his family.
“He provided me with endless support and advice over the years and became a close confidante - even right up until the last couple of years when, after hearing the rumors that I might move to Ferrari, he told me he would be very disappointed if I went there because for him, it was the absolute betrayal because they were his motivation – the ones he wanted to beat in his day,” Webber wrote on his web site.
The former Red Bull racer also writes that while he couldn’t join Brabham and Alan Jones as Aussie World Champions, he was proud to have made Brabham happy by winning “some of the more prestigious, special Grands Prix”; Webber was a two-time winner of both the Monaco Grand Prix and the British Grand Prix in his F1 career.
He closes his statement in part by telling the surviving Brabhams – Jack’s wife, Margaret, his three sons, and their respective families – that “you are very much in our thoughts at this sad time.”
Sir Jack Brabham became the only driver in F1 history to claim a World Championship in a car of his own creation in 1966. That was the third and last of his titles, with his first two crowns coming in 1959 and 1960 in the Cooper Climax.
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