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The family of Professor Sid Watkins, who died on Wednesday night, has thanked Formula 1 fans and all involved in the motorsport community for their messages of support. The 84-year-old, who was at this year’s British Grand Prix and celebrated his final birthday last Thursday, is survived by wife Susan and their six children.
After being recruited by Bernie Ecclestone in 1978, Watkins became F1’s head doctor and held the position with the FIA until 2005. He is to thank for the high levels of safety in modern Formula 1 and has saved numerous lives during his career.
‘Professor Sid Watkins, Formula 1 doctor and leading neurosurgeon, died peacefully in a London hospital last night aged 84, after a short illness,’ reads a family statement.
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.’
It was also Watkins who tried in vain to safe close friend Ayrton Senna when the three-time World Champion had crashed and suffered fatal head injuries at Imola in 1994.
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