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F1 doctor who revolutionized safety procedures dies at 84

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Outside Formula One car racing, Ayrton Senna might be a recognized name, but how about Sid Watkins? Senna is a three-time F1 champion who died after a crash in 1994. Watkins is largely the reason Senna’s was the last F1 driver fatality. Watkins, a tenured neurosurgeon who recently passed away from cancer at age 84, implemented safety measures in the sport to which many drivers owe their lives. What are some of the things Watkins is responsible for? More flame-retardant clothing for drivers, padding in the cockpit, stronger roll bars, he orchestrated emergency response procedures, redesigned dangerous corners on the track and installed permanent medical centers at the tracks. “You only meet someone of his caliber once,” said Jody Sheckter, 1979 F1 world champion.