Sid Watkins dies at 84

14 September 2012

Professor Sid Watkins, the man responsible for transforming F1 safety, lost his fight to cancer this week leaving many F1 drivers devastated. The track-side doctor, a neurosurgeon, was responsible for saving the lives of several drivers and was there when Ayrton Senna died. Professor Watkins not only saved the lives of drivers by treating them on the track, he also worked with former racing boss Max Mosley to improve track and car safety. One of those Watkins saved was Rubens Barrichello, on what was 'the blackest day for Grand Prix racing' according to BBC commentator, Murray Walker. Barrichello had a horrendous smash but I guess he was the lucky one as he walked away with his life. He paid tribute to Professor Sid Watkins on Twitter:

It was Sid Watkins that saved my life in Imola 94. great guy to be with, always happy...tks for everything u have done for us drivers. RIP.

McLaren chairman, Rob Dennis, also spoke out:

Today the world of motor racing lost one of its true greats: Professor Sid Watkins.

Sad, sad week. He was a guy I had so much respect for and he will undoubtedly leave a massive hole in the F1 scene. My thoughts are with his family; rest in peace Prof.