Check out this fantastic footage of Juan Manuel Fangio and Jack Brabham having a race at the Sandown circuit in Australia back in 1978.
After the 1978 Australian Grand Prix (which back then was a race for Formula 5000 cars) a four car demonstration race was held. Aussie touring car legends Bob Jane and Bill Patterson raced a Maserati and a Cooper respectively, but the headlines were all about the guys in the other two cars.
Jack Brabham was demonstrating the Brabham BT19 which he took to his third and final championship in 1966, and Juan Manuel Fangio was driving the Mercedes W196 he won two championships with in 1954 and 1955. Fangio however said that he wouldn’t demonstrate the Mercedes…but he would race it.
Despite Fangio being 67-years-old at the time and having not raced competitively for nearly 20 years he clearly still had all his skills. He certainly gives Brabham in the much faster car a hard time, though Jack (who was 52 at the time) does ease off a bit to make a show of it.
Still, it’s incredible to see two of the greatest F1 drivers of all time – eight world championships between them – going at it like this. It’s crazy to think there’s little more than 10 years between the cars as well, considering how different they are.
Although both drivers raced in different eras of F1, Brabham and Fangio did actually race against each other in period. Jack raced in his first Grand Prix in 1955 and did occasional races for a few years. By 1958 he was racing more regularly, just as Fangio was winding down his long and successful career.