Today, the racing world lost a hero. In the truest, most basic embodiment of the word, Sid Watkins was a hero.

He wasn’t the man winning races and collecting endorsement deals that account for more than many of us will see in our lifetimes, no, Sid Watkins was the man saving their lives when everything went wrong. A mission that started as he knelt on one knee next to Ayrton Senna as he gave his last breath.

You see, Sid and Ayrton were close friends. The superstar race car driver and the doctor that rode in the station wagon around the track, humility personified. All things were well until that infamous dark weekend in Italy which saw the loss of Roland Ratzenburger in qualifying. Images that shook even the strongest of viewers as he was pulled out of his car and all attempts to resuscitate him failed. Sid was in shock and I can not begin to quantify the emotional impact that these events had on the man responsible for pulling drivers back to the light.

There are even tapes of him asking Ayrton about quitting, the both of them, and leaving it all behind and going fishing.  Dreams that would find the hollow and dark loss into irony as Ayrton Senna was killed the next day.

Watkins made it his mission, his will and gave every sense of his being to try and prevent this from ever happening again. The reason I say that this man is an ABSOLUTE HERO is simple, while Sid was alive, not a single Formula 1 driver was killed.

Racing, not just Formula 1, but racing as a whole should morn today’s loss of Sid Watkins.  Children born tomorrow that enter a career in racing may have a second chance at life because of a man they can only read about.

Sid, I know you and Ayrton are fishing right now, you were a good man.