Thank You Mr Watkins


Last night the news broke that 'The Prof', Sid Watkins, had passed away.

"Professor Sid Watkins, Formula One doctor and leading neurosurgeon, died peacefully in a London hospital last night aged 84 after a short illness."

"His family would like to thank everyone for the many messages of support and the touching tributes from the world of motor racing, medicine and beyond. There will be a private family funeral in Scotland followed by a memorial service in London in the coming months, details of which will be announced shortly."

Below are just a few of the tributes from team principals and drivers.

Ron Dennis (Source) "No, he wasn't a driver; no, he wasn't an engineer; no, he wasn't a designer. He was a doctor, and it's probably fair to say that he did more than anyone, over many years, to make Formula 1 as safe as it is today. As such, many drivers and ex-drivers owe their lives to his careful and expert work, which resulted in the massive advances in safety levels that today's drivers possibly take for granted. But, more than that, Sid was a dear friend of mine, and I'll miss him bitterly. To his widow Susan, and to his family, I extend my sincerest condolences. He was a truly great man, and the world of motor racing simply won't be the same without him."

Sir Frank Williams (Source) "Sid Watkins gained the respect and admiration of all the drivers throughout his time in Formula One. I know a number of them, throughout their time as racing drivers, looked to Sid for many different kinds of advice, in addition to his medical expertise. Perhaps most significant in my mind is that Sid was held in high regard by Bernie Ecclestone. He was in all respects a very special human being. In particular, his dedication to the safety of the drivers required endless persistence to achieve the safety standards and level of medical care that were necessary to save drivers' lives. My own endorsement of Sid's abilities goes without saying. He took splendid care of me when I spent 11 weeks in his hospital post-injury. After that I emerged as a human being who, if not fully mobile, could continue with a perfectly normal and healthy lifestyle. I remain forever grateful to him.

Martin Brundle (via Twitter) "Motor sport has lost a true visionary and character with death of Prof Sid Watkins, 84. Great man, funny too. Saved my left foot being amputated. Sid W would often prescribe 'a stiff whisky and aspirin' unless your leg was hanging off. His way of saying 'just put up and get on with it.' Sid was the 'go to' man for health in Motorsport. He helped, saved, or made more comfortable, numerous people who never sat in a racing car"

Rubens Barrichello (via 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"

Lewis Hamilton (via Twitter) "It's a sad day, with the loss of professor Sid Watkins. Without his incredible contribution to the sport, our lives as drivers would be a risk. My condolences go out to his family"

Mr Watkins clearly had touched the hearts of not only everyone that knew him personally, but of everyone that had even heard of the name 'Sid Watkins'. Everyone from team principals, the team crews and drivers right through to the fans of the sport have so much to thank Mr Watkins for; and we will always be eternally grateful for absolutely everything he did within the world of Formula 1.

He has saved the lives of many drivers and prevented the deaths of countless more. No other man on this planet has done more to improve the safety of Formula 1; and his dedication and determination may never be matched. You just need to read the tributes and comments that people the world over are writing to see just what an impact this one man had on so many.

I'd just like to say thank you. Thank you Mr Watkins for all you have done. The impact you have had on the world will be a lasting one, not just within the motorsport community, but world over. Rest in peace Mr Watkins.

(Image source)

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