Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Almelo, The Netherlands
Ferrari Life Posts: 2,211
Sidney Watkins M.D., F.R.C.S., O.B.E. (b. 1932), commonly known as Professor Sid, is a world-renowned neurosurgeon who served twenty-six years as the FIA Formula One Safety Delegate and Medical Delegate, head of the Formula One on-track medical team, and first responder in case of a crash.
Born in Liverpool, United Kingdom, Watkins attended the University of Liverpool and graduated in 1952; he worked for the Royal Army Medical Corps in West Africa for four years, but immediately thereafter he returned to the UK to specialize in neurosurgery at Oxford University. It was at this time that Watkins became interested in motorsports, and he began to act as race doctor at the Silverstone Circuit during his free time.
Watkins moved to Syracuse, New York upon receiving an offer to be professor of neurosurgery at the State University of New York, but returned presently to England to act as head of neurosurgery at the London Hospital. In 1978 he met Bernie Ecclestone, at the time manager of the Brabham Formula One team, who offered Watkins the position of official Formula One race doctor; he has served in this position, and has held a number of FIA safety-related titles ever since then. The FIA has recognized Watkins for being largely responsible for the modernization of medical standards in Formula One.
In 2002, Watkins was made a member of the Order of the British Empire. The University of Liverpool presented him with an honorary doctorate at a ceremony in Liverpool on July 8, 2004. On October 12, 2004, Watkins became the first president of the FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society, and on December 10 he became the first president of the FIA Institute for Motor Sport Safety, both created in honor of the FIA's hundredth anniversary.
On January 20, 2004, Watkins announced his retirement from his various medical positions in the FIA, but stated his intention to continue as President of the FIA Instititute for Motor Sport Safety. FIA President Max Mosley appointed Watkins's longtime deputy Gary Hartstein as his successor. 
Watkins has written or co-authored a number of books on racing safety, including Life at the Limit: Triumph and Tragedy in Formula One. He is married, and has four sons and two daughters.