Sharing ideas on Risk, Human Performance, Teams and Leaders

Sid Watkins

Neurosurgeon, Medical Delegate

Transforming safety in formula 1 racing

Prof Sid as he is affectionately known graduated as a doctor of medicine in 1956 and in 1958 chose to specialize in neurosurgery at the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford. In 1961 he took up his first motor sport position at Brands Hatch and subsequently as race doctor at Silverstone. In 1978 he was asked by the president of the FIA, Bernie Ecclestone to improve the medical response to accidents in F1 after 2 avoidable driver deaths. In 1994 the president, Max Mosely formed an expert group, of which Sid was chairman, to investigate safety after the deaths of Senna and Ratzenberger.

Avoidable deaths can be averted by a systematic scientific approach to the problem Do not allow others with vested interests stop the attempt to aim for zero mortality Immediate track-side medical treatment is the best opportunity for survival