Jean Todt, Professor Sid Watkins, FIA Gala, 2011

Sid Watkins to be applauded before Singapore GP

2012 Singapore Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jean Todt, Professor Sid Watkins, FIA Gala, 2011A minute’s applause in honour of Sid Watkins will take place before the start of the Singapore Grand Prix, the FIA has announced.

Watkins, who died last week, served as the medical delegate for Formula One from 1978 to 2004, and is credited with saving many lives and making numerous safety advanced in the sport.

A Book of Remembrance will be made available for members of the F1 community to contribute personal messages of condolence throughout the weekend.

It will be displayed next to a bronze bust of Watkins which was commissioned from the FIA Institute presidency last year. The FIA is also planning to create a permanent tribute to him.

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30 comments on “Sid Watkins to be applauded before Singapore GP”

  1. Fully deserved IMO. Sadly I’m not sure the crowd can truly fully appreciate the applause. I don’t think they’ll know who he is.

    1. Why not? Fans who attend the races are probably going to be more knowledgeable of the sport and its history than your ‘average’ TV viewer. I was at the Singapore GP in 2009 and I know I would be applauding as hard as I could for the Prof if I were there this year.

      1. @tommk because Singapore is turning into a Monaco in terms of on-track viewership. A large portion of the audience is there not for the racing – they are there for the glamor and the experience.

        I’ve been there every year the race has been held so far, and I get the most idiotic help requests from my neighbors.

        For example, my first year there a lady and her husband asked me, “Can you tell us which one is the Ferrari, and which one is the McLaren?”

        Now I have nothing against these types of audience – but I’m quite sure those who cannot tell a McLaren from a Ferrari will not be aware of who Professor Sid Watkins is.

      2. @tommk because Singapore is turning into a Monaco in terms of on-track viewership. A large portion of the audience is there not for the racing – they are there for the glamor and the experience.

        I’ve been there every year the race has been held so far, and I get the most ridiculous help requests from my neighbors.

        For example, my first year there a lady and her husband asked me, “Can you tell us which one is the Ferrari, and which one is the McLaren?”

        Now I have nothing against these types of audience – but I’m quite sure those who cannot tell a McLaren from a Ferrari will not be aware of who Professor Sid Watkins is.

        1. Wow, I guess we then have to be happy for the new to F1 visitors that are lured to the race.
          Lets hope they go along with the applause even without fully understanding what it is for that Watkins deserves this respect.

  2. As a tribute to the Professor, I think the teams, the FIA and FOM should consider putting together some money to start a scholarship in Watkins’ name, not just to honour him, but his legacy as well. There have been a lot of calls for corners at Silverstone to be named after him, or maybe a building like the Silverstone Wing, but I think the best tribute would be to find a high school student who shares the same values as the Professor and an interest in medicine, and help them through university – because if there is one thing the world needs, it is more people like Sid Watkins. (And I think “the Sid Watkins Scholarship” has a nice ring to it.)

    1. @prisoner-monkeys Yours is apparently a much better idea.

    2. I think that would be a nice idea, with all the millions F1 makes it would be a nice idea to see them set aside portions of that for scholarships. If they do the Sid Watikins Doctorate Scholarship then maybe they could extend it to other areas as well? Maybe a Aryton Senna Promising Driver Scholarship, or a Gordon Murray Design Scholarship. It could be a good way of making F1 more personal.

      1. I think multiple scholarships might dilute the idea a bit. I was thinking more of a scholarship open to any student who was considering a future in medicine and shared the same values as the Professor, but they wouldn’t necessarily end up working in Formula 1. Formul 1 wouldn’t even have to come into it at all, though it would be nice to award the scholarship at the end-of-year FIA Gala Dinner where the winning driver and team are presented with their trophies.

  3. Minute of applause? Is that the same as a minute of silence? I’ve never come across that term before.
    I’m assuming they are the same, a minute of clapping seems a bit weird.

    1. @julian

      Is that the same as a minute of silence?

      Well, it’s not as quiet.

      I’ve seen it done in other sports as well. I quite like it: I think a minute’s silence strikes a mournful tone, a minute’s applause is more appreciative, and I think that’s what’s needed here.

      1. @keithcollantine @julian I agree with Keith. A minutes silence is usually more befitting if it is a sudden death or under tragic circumstances. Not to take anything away from Sid or his family but this just shows a degree of appreciation for a man and I’m sure his family would appreciate the noise of the F1 circus has been has home for over 30 years so why stop now? :)

    2. It’s a custom that’s caught-on recently in Britain as a show of appreciation to a person when it’s appropriate, i.e. only when the circumstances of death aren’t tragic. In this case, Sid has had a full life and everyone is hugely appreciative of his work, so I expect a full cheer for him during the minute. I’d even be tempted to rev an engine or two if I was one of the teams.

    3. When the Moto GP grid paid tribute to Marco Simoncelli they had a ‘minute’s noise’ where all the riders revved their engines and there was a massive fireworks display. I thought it was a brilliant idea. As mentioned above, rather than being a sad moment reflecting on the death it’s more of a celebration of the life. I think that’s very appropriate here.

    4. Oh I see. Now that I’ve wrapped my head around the idea it does seem quite fitting. A nice uplifting way to celebrate his life.

      Thanks everyone for the explanation :)

  4. This is a fantastic idea. Far more fitting than a sombre minute’s silence, for a person who seemed to take such joy from life.

    I wonder what the tribute will be. Maybe one of the newer circuits could be named after him. Although that may lead to some confusion with Watkins’ Glen

    1. I think there will be corner/complex of corners named after him

    2. I do totally agree with @prisoner-monkeys above, in saying that while naming stuff after him would be great, the establishment of a charitable foundation could be the most fitting tribute to his work, and a good way of ensuring that his spirit never disappears from the sport.

      1. Yeah, it seems a bit odd to name a corner of a pit building after Watkins because he wasn’t a racer and his contributions had nothing to do with actual racing, so to my mind, setting up a scholarship to preseve his legacy makes a lot more sense.

      2. Yeah, it really is far more in his spirit to do something like a foundation working towards the same goals Sid Watkins had than naming a corner or building (the medical facilities at Silverstone, for example?) after him.

  5. I’ve already named my fishing rod after him….

    Ther terms great and legend are bandied about these days all too freely, however in this particular instance they apply most definately

    G

  6. The FIA take a lot of stick from us, so I think it’s right that we applaud them for doing the right thing here. A minute’s applause, a book of remembrance and the bronze bust will be a fitting tribute to the man that has universal respect from everyone involved in modern F1, us fans included.

    Also agree with @prisoner-monkeys , the Sid Watkins Scholarship sounds like an excellent idea as a permanent tribute. Sid Watkins-Glen has a nice ring to it though ;) I believe he used to help out there in his early career.

  7. According to F1.com, Bernie has

    invited those on the grid to observe minute’s silence in Watkins’ honour

    http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2012/9/13809.html

    Which is right? Is it a minute of silence or applause.. I think either would be fitting, or maybe even both :P But having 2 conflicting reports seems a bit odd…

    1. @keeleyobsessed The information in this article is from a press release sent by the FIA.

      Oddly, comparing the F1.com article with the FIA press release the two are pretty much identical apart from the applause/silence bit:

      http://www.fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/pressreleases/FIA/2012/Pages/fia-sw-tribute.aspx

      1. Pitpass say that it was an error in the FIA press release:
        http://www.pitpass.com/47334-Update-on-Watkins-tribute

        1. The FIA press release still says the same on their website and there’s been nothing further from them on Twitter or Facebook. I have emaillled them but no reply yet.

  8. Last year in MotoGP they held a “minute’s noise” for Marco Simoncelli after his death at Sepang. It seems like a far more fitting tribute to people with racing in their hearts than a minute’s silence. As many people have already said, a minute’s silence is mournful, whereas applause and/or engines revving feels more like a powerful statement in appreciation of the person who has lost their lives. And Prof definitely deserves such a tribute.

    1. A minute’s silence is just as powerful because it gives peace to be able contemplate someone’s life, even if you do have racing in your heart. Having to stop for a moment and think about things is very powerful indeed and just as fitting IMHO. I think they both have a place to be honest, but I like your idea of revving engines.

  9. This is pretty much what I expected with regards to the minutes applause. The book of remembrance is a fitting tribute as well and I’m sure his family will treasure it. It doesn’t seem right to say it but I am looking forward to it, just to see some real appreciation for a much loved figure.

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