Tributes pour in for Sid Watkins

By on Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Motorsport community has been paying tribute to Formula One's former medical delegate, Sid Watkins, who has died at the age of 84.

Watkins, known as 'The Prof', served as the head of Formula One's on track medical team and his campaigning has led to improved safety for all.

Bruno Senna, Williams F1 driver: ‘RIP Prof. Sid Watkins. Sad news for us who stay behind.’

Ron Dennis, McLaren chairman: "Today the world of motor racing lost one of its true greats: Professor Sid Watkins. 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"

Rubens Barrichello, F1 1993-2011: ‘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.’

Williams F1 Team: ‘Such sad news about Prof Sid Watkins-our thoughts are with his family and friends. A true gentleman who did so much for our sport - thank you’

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren driver: ‘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.’

Jenson Button, McLaren driver: ‘Rest in Peace Sid Watkins...motorsport wouldn't be what it is today without u [sic]. Thank you for all you've done, we as drivers are so grateful.’

Maurice Hamilton, Formula 1 journalist: ‘RIP Prof Sid Watkins. Such serious work but so many laughs along the way. Top man. Motorsport owes you so much. Thank you.’

Heikki Kovalainen, Caterham driver: ‘Sad to hear professor Sid Watkins has passed away, one of the true greats in motorsport. R.I.P’

Martin Brundle, Sky Sports F1 commentator: "Motor sport has lost a true visionary +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"

Mercedes AMG F1: ‘Very sad news for the world of motorsport: RIP Prof Sid Watkins. Thanks for making F1 safer.’

Sahara Force India: ‘The thoughts of everyone at Sahara Force India are with the family of 'Prof' Sid Watkins. A great man who contributed so much to the sport.’

Caterham F1 Team: ‘Very sad news to hear about the passing of Prof Sid Watkins. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. Prof made our sport safer and his legacy will keep saving lives for many years to come. His contribution to motorsport was immense.’

Marussia F1 Team: ‘Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Prof Sid Watkins, who contributed so much to our sport & leaves such an important legacy.’

David Brabham, Le Mans winner 2009: ‘RIP Prof Sid, we will be forever indebted to you. Say hi to the greats up there, I bet they were all waiting for you.’

Narain Karthikeyan, HRT driver:  'R.I.P. Prof. Watkins, your work will truly be missed..'

Ben Edwards, BBC F1 commentator: 'Prof Sid Watkins was a real gentleman who always gave you time, as well as being a pioneer in the safety of F1. Will always be remembered.'

Mitch Evans, GP3 Champion: 'RIP Professor Sid Watkins. Huge loss to everyone in every category of Motorsport, he's done so much for us, thank you.'

Max Chilton, GP2 driver: 'R.I.P Sid Watkins, Thanks to you, us drivers can focus on racing & nothing else!'

Alex Brundle, GP3 driver: 'I've played a lot of football with my Dad. I wouldn't have if it wasn't for a bloke I never met called Sid Watkins. Never got to thank him.'

FIA, Motorsport Governing body: "The FIA and the FIA Institute extend their sincere condolences to the Watkins family on the sad news of the death of FIA Institute Honorary President Professor Sid Watkins. Throughout his life Sid made a unique contribution to motorsport, particularly in improving safety for F1 drivers, officials and spectators around the world. He was highly respected as an acclaimed neurosurgeon, F1 medical delegate, Chairman of the FIA Expert Advisory Safety Committee, and as the first President of the FIA Institute. Sid's experience, intelligence and endearing humour will be forever greatly missed.'

Gerard Saillant, FIA Institute President: "Sid was a true gentleman of our sport and always a pleasure to work with,” Saillant says. “He will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him, from doctors and drivers to officials and fans. Sid's influence will live on for many years to come"

Jean Todt, FIA President: "This is a truly sad day for the FIA family and the entire motorsport community. Sid was loved and respected in equal measure by all those who knew and worked with him. We will always be grateful for the safety legacy that he has left our sport"

Sir Frank Williams: "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."

Grand Prix Drivers' Association: "All Formula 1 drivers of the Grand Prix Drivers Association would like to extend their most sincere condolences to the family of Professor Sid Watkins. Thanks to his enormous efforts throughout more than two decades Formula 1 achieved its present safety standards. His contribution to Formula 1 with the improvements in the standards of safety and medical intervention in motor sport has been invaluable. He helped to save the lives of many Formula 1 drivers by modernizing the medical intervention. Due to his work many serious injuries have been avoided since. All our thoughts are with his family in this sad moment. Professor Sid Watkins' charisma and spirit will always be with us at all circuits around the world. We miss the great Professor and friend he was to many of us"

Adrian Newey, Red Bull Racing: "Professor Sid Watkins became a very good friend over the years. He was one of the great characters of the sport, who quietly changed the nature of it with the advancement of safety. He was very passionate about motor racing in every respect and tried to ensure the health of it at all levels, including club level and national racing. He will be sadly missed"

Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing: "It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Professor Sid Watkins. His contribution to the safety of Formula One has been enormous. Many drivers and personnel within Formula One owe him a great deal. Above all, he was a genuinely nice person and one of life's real characters. I would like to pass on my sincere condolences to his family"

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes driver: "A great loss for Formula 1. Sid combined expertise with his heart and he was always there for the drivers. Of course, I remember Silverstone, when he was instantly at my side. I also remember our time together in the many FIA safety meetings over the years, in which he was always so keen to improve our security. My thoughts are with his family"

If you liked this post then share it with your friends on social media websites. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest F1 news.