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#1 pup

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 03:50

Like many of you here, I was greatly saddened to hear about the death of Dr. Watkins. Sir Jackie has suggested that F1 needs to create a 'permanent' tribute to his memory, and I agree. But I would go a step further, and say that F1 should create a 'living' memorial for him. That is, something that would be an active, ongoing reminder of the man and what he did to better the sport - something that can't be achieved through a statue, memorial, or nameplate on some building.

What I suggest is for the sport to create the Watkins Trophy - a separate championship within the season for both the drivers and the teams. The idea would be for the European season to exist as a championship-within-a-championship, with the trophy awarded to the driver and team who score the most points just for those races. To make it interesting, and worth competing for, I'd also suggest that the winners of the trophy receive 50 or so bonus points toward the WDC and WCC for the season. The regular championship points for each race would still be applied toward the season of course - this would merely be a layer on top of that.

Personally, I think that not only would it be a fitting and lasting tribute to Dr. Watkins, but it would also add another layer of interest to the season, and perhaps add to the importance of the traditional European races.

What do you guys think?

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#2 Brother Fox

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 04:09

And slap the rest of the world in the face!

Not against the idea of a tribute btw, but to emphasize European races seems weird


#3 gm914

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 04:22

I like the idea of a Watkins Trophy, but it should IMO be awarded as an aside, with no bearing on the championship.
Your "50 bonus points" idea is sorry to say, ludicrous.

Maybe something to do with how much time/effort a driver puts in off the track, in regards to helping charities/visiting hospitals or something.



#4 pup

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 04:34

And slap the rest of the world in the face!

Not against the idea of a tribute btw, but to emphasize European races seems weird

I see your point, but I don't think I agree. At least for myself, as a card carrying member of the rest of the world, I wouldn't see it as an insult.



#5 pup

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 04:36

I like the idea of a Watkins Trophy, but it should IMO be awarded as an aside, with no bearing on the championship.
Your "50 bonus points" idea is sorry to say, ludicrous.

Maybe something to do with how much time/effort a driver puts in off the track, in regards to helping charities/visiting hospitals or something.

'Ludicrous' seems rather harsh. IMO, if you don't award points to the trophy then it seems an empty gesture.

Well, not empty, but certainly not as important.

Edited by pup, 14 September 2012 - 04:40.


#6 garoidb

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 06:26

I like the idea of a Watkins Trophy, but it should IMO be awarded as an aside, with no bearing on the championship.
Your "50 bonus points" idea is sorry to say, ludicrous.

Maybe something to do with how much time/effort a driver puts in off the track, in regards to helping charities/visiting hospitals or something.


Yes, awarding bonus points would be ludicrous.

Named awards sometimes seem to fade away with time. It might be more appropriate to name the FIA Institute for Motor Safety after him.

#7 PhilG

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:11

i think that it needs to be an award that would reflect what Sid Watkins stood for, and it should be voted on by a select panel, or maybe even the family .

This year's stand out for me would be Pastor Maldonado and the Williams team for his first win, and subsequent heroism carrying his cousin out of the inferno.. the team jumped through hoops to get to Monaco , and it would be a fitting award for them.

Every year there is an event that just embodies the spirit of the sport, i think so far , this is it.

If we went back 10 years and retrospectively looked at who would have won, it would give a good idea of what we are looking for in future winners.



#8 HuddersfieldTerrier1986

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:21

50 bonus points is ludicrous, that's 2 race wins as a bonus, which really is far too much. I'd say no bonus points. I know you say ludicrous is harsh, but I don't think so. You're talking about giving an enormous WDC/WCC advantage to a team, which just isn't fair at all, especially at the level you're talking about. You say if you don't award points to it it's an empty gesture? Sorry but that's not true as far as I'm concerned.

Edited by HuddersfieldTerrier1986, 14 September 2012 - 07:22.


#9 Brother Fox

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:52

The idea of what Sid Watkins stood for and Pastor Maldonado in the same sentence blows my mind. Unless where saying "he's only alive because of his work"

An alternative would be recognizing the years biggest contribution to the sport from a non-driver


#10 Youichi

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:53


It should be a trophy awarded to whomever has the largest accident without injury, each year.

#11 Red17

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:57

Named awards sometimes seem to fade away with time. It might be more appropriate to name the FIA Institute for Motor Safety after him.

Agree. His tribute should be related to his field of work. And considering he was the real driving force of the Institute it's more than appropriate.

#12 kar

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:20

I think the world championship trophy should be called the sid watkins trophy (or some derivative). A bit like how in the NHL they name their trophies after the sports greats.

#13 H0R

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:29

If all a Sid Watkins Trophy should be something like Footballs Fair Play Award. Rewarded to the drivers with the least incidents or something like that.

Edited by H0R, 14 September 2012 - 08:29.


#14 noikeee

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:32

The whole European races thing, or trophy within the championship makes little sense. A far more appropriate tribute would be a yearly award to the biggest contributions or advancements to safety in motorsport. Could be given out at the FIA Gala at the end of the season.

#15 PayasYouRace

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 09:08

I wouldn't object to a championship within a championship. Indycar has that in the oval and road course championships (or at least they did last year), but Prof Watkins is not the man to be remembered by one.

Sid should be honoured with a trophy or award related to safety or medicine in motorsport.

#16 DampMongoose

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 09:09

I'd present a Watkins trophy for exceptional performance in the face of adversity... thus far the winner would be the Williams team for (as mentioned previously) their efforts to even attend Monaco this year! I'd have the award available to anyone connected to F1 such as safety workers/marshalls, drivers, teams etc... A panel made up from various aspects of F1 could vote on it each year.

I'd also like to see every medical facility and safety/medical car with his name on it, and a nice bronze at Silverstone of him sitting on the bonnet of a medical car would be a good lasting tribute too!

I'm not against a championship within a championship as F1 has had them before (Jim Clark and Colin Chapman Triophies) but I would rather a trophy for Sid to be awarded for something connected with his work, than just his name on a trophy...

Edited by DampMongoose, 14 September 2012 - 09:13.


#17 Buttoneer

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 09:14

An alternative would be recognizing the years biggest contribution to the sport from a non-driver

It would be fitting to give an award to one of the many unpaid volunteers without whom the sport would still be unsafe and who are otherwise (mostly) unrecognised.

#18 BernieEc

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 09:24

It would be fitting to give an award to one of the many unpaid volunteers without whom the sport would still be unsafe and who are otherwise (mostly) unrecognised.


This sounds like a much better idea.......maybe a monetary bonus could be added to sweeten the deal...kinda like a nobel peace prize...say 1 million Euros. given to the person or organisation who wins it. Am sure the FIA can afford that



#19 olliek88

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 09:29

And slap the rest of the world in the face!

Not against the idea of a tribute btw, but to emphasize European races seems weird


Especially when you think he spent a large part of his career working at Watkins Glenn!

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#20 RedBaron

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 09:30

I don't think that's a very good idea. It's a quickly thought idea with his name slapped onto it.

#21 Rich

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 09:41

I see your point, but I don't think I agree. At least for myself, as a card carrying member of the rest of the world, I wouldn't see it as an insult.


The Watkins Socialism-Colonialism Trophy, in which the filthy natives are reminded that everybody is equal, just that Europeans are more equal than them? This is a joke, right?

Watkins was a contributor to safety, not colonialism and European hegemony in world affairs. If you want to honour his legacy, give an award to the circuit which is deemed to have provided the best safety facilities and personnel for their GP. Or to an individual or company which makes some meaningful contribution to safety via a gizmo like the HANS device or whatever.

#22 noikeee

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 09:47

Certainly not disagreeing with that, but... "colonialism"?

#23 Rich

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 09:51

noikeee, it was hyperbole to make a point. How exactly does one associate Watkins' efforts to improve safety with an agenda to boost the prominence/importance of EU events in what is an international sport?

#24 RedBaron

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 11:26

The Watkins Socialism-Colonialism Trophy, in which the filthy natives are reminded that everybody is equal, just that Europeans are more equal than them? This is a joke, right?

Watkins was a contributor to safety, not colonialism and European hegemony in world affairs. If you want to honour his legacy, give an award to the circuit which is deemed to have provided the best safety facilities and personnel for their GP. Or to an individual or company which makes some meaningful contribution to safety via a gizmo like the HANS device or whatever.


I like the idea of outstanding safety device, circuit etc etc being awarded with something with Watkins name on it. Anything else is just using his name meaninglessly and unrelated.

#25 KavB

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 11:32

I like the idea of outstanding safety device, circuit etc etc being awarded with something with Watkins name on it. Anything else is just using his name meaninglessly and unrelated.

I agree. What's the point of giving awarding the trophy to drivers for doing their job? It doesn't recognise anything, except that they performed pretty well in the middle of the season. The award should recognise those who help contribute to increasing the safety of F1. Whether it is a helmet supplier who has made a huge improvement in safety, or to the most safe circuit. Anything else doesn't remember what the man contributed to the sport.

#26 jeze

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 11:33

If all a Sid Watkins Trophy should be something like Footballs Fair Play Award. Rewarded to the drivers with the least incidents or something like that.


I agree - FIA can have a prize fund for the driver being regarded as the most fair one on $ 1 000 000 - with another million going to road safety projects selected by the driver's team.

#27 PayasYouRace

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 13:31

Here's my "mini championship" suggestions. It's something I'd been mulling over in my mind for a while. Trophy names are just examples.

The Niki Lauda Trophy - awarded to the most points in the European races (Spain, Monaco, Europe (Valencia), Germany, Hungary, Belgium, Italy)

The Jack Brabham Trophy - awarded to the most points in the Commonwealth races (Australia, Malaysia, Canada, Britain, Singapore, India)

The Ayrton Senna Trophy - awarded to the most points in the rest of the world/Asia-America races (China, Bahrain, Japan, Korea, Abu Dhabi, USA, Brazil)

Each sub-championship is about equal in length. Anyone want to work out the standings for this year so far?


Sorry if it's a bit OT, but it seems like it fits in and this thread reminded me of it.

#28 ch103

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 13:36

I think the Sid Watkins trophy should be awarded each year to the medical staff individual, event organizer, team or driver that contributes the most to safety improvements for that year.

#29 Disgrace

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 13:36

It should be a trophy awarded to whomever has the largest accident without injury, each year.


News coming in Jacques Villeneuve might be interested in F1 comeback...

#30 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 13:52

The 'Watkins Trophy' name should be given to whatever award or recognition is currently given in the development of safety. I think the SAFER barrier they use on American ovals has had some industry praise. So if the FIA wanted to have a Watkins Scholarship to fund R&D or an award for the best idea, or whatever. Sure.

Otherwise there's no link between Watkins and a points championship.

#31 Risil

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 14:01

This is a ridiculous idea, which smacks of using a sad news story to drive a personal agenda.

A "Watkins Scholarship" or something for safety would be a good memorial. But not if it's going to be given out for things like chicanes and huge paved runoff areas.

#32 Jovanotti

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 14:25

What about a fairplay award in Watkins' name?

#33 Spillage

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 14:43

Not so sure about this idea. For me the best way to remember the permanent mark he left on the sport would be to run some kind of permanent logo or thank-you message on the cars. Kinda like the Senna 'S' on the Williams'

#34 FredrikB

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 14:54

The Sid Watkins trophy should be given to the driver who completes the most racing laps in season.
To do that, you have to be a safe driver.

#35 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 14:58

I think the world championship trophy should be called the sid watkins trophy (or some derivative). A bit like how in the NHL they name their trophies after the sports greats.


I was thinking something along these lines too, one of the main touch points of the championship like the WDC trophy itself could be named after him. That would be a great tribute. Obviously if it needs to be more safety specific it could be similar to the Bandini trophy that get's awarded to an outstanding figure in motorsport that has madea big breakthrough without a title or the like.

Edited by Tenmantaylor, 14 September 2012 - 15:01.


#36 gm914

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 15:00

The Sid Watkins trophy should be given to the driver who completes the most racing laps in season.
To do that, you have to be a safe driver.

Or be nowhere around an unsafe driver.

#37 Dolph

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 15:03

What about a fairplay award in Watkins' name?



How about the "Ferrari fair-play trophy" :lol:

Edited by Dolph, 14 September 2012 - 15:03.


#38 HuddersfieldTerrier1986

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 15:06

The Sid Watkins trophy should be given to the driver who completes the most racing laps in season.
To do that, you have to be a safe driver.


No you don't. You can be the safest driver in the history of the world, but if you get taken out like Alonso was in Spa, where he was totally blameless and couldn't have done anything to avoid it, every race, then you're not going to complete the most laps in a season. It's a really poor idea (no offence, but it is, and it's not really something that'd mean anything to any of the drivers other than the fact Sid's name was on it).

#39 Atreiu

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 15:20

Not a trophy, but a decoration (is this the correct word?) for outstanding efforts, mainly those related to safety. For example, a GP with the best safety infrastructure, or any marshall who performs his duties with outstanding proffessionalism.

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#40 pup

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 16:30

Well I'm glad to see that people are open to the idea of a trophy even though there's obviously opposition to basing it on the European season races. That's cool, though I am taken a bit back by the tenor of some of the replies. I'm not married to the idea, but I do think a few of you might benefit from reading this.

There are other good options of course, a few of which have already been mentioned by others. I might throw a few out as well - perhaps base the trophy on qualifying, or perhaps a different subset of races that isn't so politically charged (colonialism, really?).

But despite that, I'd like to make another defense of my original idea - I still think it's a good one even after taking the above criticism to heart.

The first question of course is "why a trophy"? Fair enough. The simple reason for me is that I see Watkins' life work as being about putting the drivers ahead of the sport - ahead of the finances, ahead of the politics, and in many ways ahead of the spectacle itself - and so I think the most fitting memorial for him would be something that primarily is geared around the drivers. I certainly wouldn't oppose doing something like naming the FIA Institute after him, in fact I'd be all for it. But I think a more fitting tribute would be something that brings to the forefront each season his memory and his work - something that actively reminds the drivers and the fans that Dr. Watkins' work didn't end with his life and remains an ever present concern for the sport. Personally, I think a trophy would best accomplish that.

So if you agree with that, then the question becomes what to base such a trophy on. Like others here, my first thoughts went to something safety related - the driver who exemplifies 'safe driving' or some such. The problem with that, for me at least, is that it seems a bit like a perfect attendance award or something - an award that's handed out at the end of the season at some ceremony that gets maybe a mention for a day in the press. Something that fills out the trophy shelf, but otherwise isn't particularly meaningful to it's recipient.

My second thought was to just name the championship after him. The truth is that I don't know how I'd feel about that. Kar mentioned the same thing and related it to the Stanley Cup. My first thought though when reading that was "so who was Stanley?", but that probably just shows that I'm not a hockey fan. I think the reason that I prefer a separate trophy is that I'd fear that if the WDC were given Watkins' name that it would still just be referred to as the WDC and the attribution wouldn't have so much importance. Sticking with the sports analogies, I'd see it more like US college football, where the Watkins Trophy is analogous to a bowl game.

With all that in mind, it struck me that the best way to add real meaning to the trophy would be to hand out WDC points with it. OK, perhaps 50 is too much - I had to throw out some number. Maybe 25 is a better starting point. But the point (of the points) is that they would drive interest in the trophy from both the drivers and the fans, and the award becomes much more than just something handed out at the end of the season. Frankly, I confess that I don't know of any better way to add value to the trophy, but that doesn't mean that I'm not eager to hear other ideas - I just don't have any myself.

OK, so if you follow me with the idea of a separate trophy, and you're with me on adding points to the trophy, then we're still stuck with what to base the trophy on. To me, the obvious solution was to just pick some meaningful subset of races and base it on that. I confess that it hadn't occurred to me that selecting a subset would have political consequences, but I'm a pretty easy going person, so that stuff doesn't always occur to me. I picked the European season because a) it's a well defined subset, and b) fans have complained that FOM has ignored their historic significance in favor of more profitable races abroad, so I thought it might be good to shore up those races with sort of a mini championship of their own. I'm from the US, by the way, so I don't have any personal reasons for selecting those races - it just made sense to me. I could just as easily see an Asia-Pacific trophy, Mid-East trophy, or an Americas trophy. Perhaps the sport should add all of those, just to give each region a sense of ownership in the sport. But that's just throwing ideas out there, so don't get too ruffled about it. Point being, if there's a better subset of races to base a Watkins trophy on, I'm all ears.

OK, so that's how this idea came about and I hope by explaining it I can at least calm a few of the waves. There are pitfalls to throwing out an apparently fully formed idea without showing the process behind getting there.

One final thought - this is just one idea of many I've seen. At the end of the day, the only appropriate memorial is one that the FIA and Dr. Watkins' family supports. I think my idea is a good one, but given the subject matter, it's not something I care to argue over in the web forum tradition. I'll make this one post, and if people think it's a good enough idea to pursue, or if it looks like there's a better idea to pursue then I'll stay in the discussion; but if not, then to be honest I'd rather drop it now.

Thanks.


#41 alfa1

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 16:44

Rather than another trophy dedicated to performance winners (which yet again count out all but a few hopeful winners), I suggest a medal for the
"best and fairest".

In Australia, the local football code has a very well respected and coveted medal awarded each year to an individual player who was decided to be the best, and fairest player through the year.

In a similar way for F1...
Each race weekend, the stewards each decide (and vote) for their choice of who drove to the best of their ability that weekend and was also fair (and safe) during that race weekend. Any driver from any team could be chosen, not just the usual guy who wins the race gets a "driver of the day" type award either.
Votes are counted up at the end of the year.
Any driver who gets a penalty that weekend is ineligible that weekend.
Any driver who gets a serious Grosean type ban is excluded for that whole year.



#42 Red17

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 16:52

With all due respect, a trophy will be temporary and fade out of existence eventually. How many people here can explain the Colin Chapman Trophy without googling it?

The best way is the one that has been given already. Rename the Institute. Create a special award (non yearly) for a company or individual who comes up with an innovation in safety or assistance or someone who has distinguished himself as a great professional (like a track doctor or a stewart). Keep the drivers out of this, it's a contradiction to hand a risk free award to people who are supposed to take risks.

#43 stairpotato

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 17:00

I'm not married to the idea, but I do think a few of you might benefit from reading this.
.


You could give this idea five hours and it'd still be a bad one.



#44 FredrikB

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 17:07

Or be nowhere around an unsafe driver.

:lol:

No you don't. You can be the safest driver in the history of the world, but if you get taken out like Alonso was in Spa, where he was totally blameless and couldn't have done anything to avoid it, every race, then you're not going to complete the most laps in a season. It's a really poor idea (no offence, but it is, and it's not really something that'd mean anything to any of the drivers other than the fact Sid's name was on it).

That was a freak accident. Rarely seen these days. You have to have a bit of luck to win all trophys you know...

#45 pup

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 17:14

Keep the drivers out of this, it's a contradiction to hand a risk free award to people who are supposed to take risks.


True, it's a strange incongruity to create a memorial for a man who's work was saving lives, within a sport that, arguably, is inherently about risking life. But then it was within that incongruity that Dr. Watkins chose to work. So in a strange way it seems fitting that a tribute to his life would be a part of that same incongruity.

#46 Rich

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 17:29

True, it's a strange incongruity to create a memorial for a man who's work was saving lives, within a sport that, arguably, is inherently about risking life. But then it was within that incongruity that Dr. Watkins chose to work. So in a strange way it seems fitting that a tribute to his life would be a part of that same incongruity.


There is no incongruity at all. If there is no risk in an activity then there is no need to dedicate work to improved safety and saving lives. If Watkins had spent his life promoting safety in chess or table tennis, you'd never have heard of him. It's because racing is so dangerous that his work was so necessary and so valuable.

#47 Rich

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 17:37

The Sid Watkins trophy should be given to the driver who completes the most racing laps in season.
To do that, you have to be a safe driver.


Or have a reliable car. What happens to the safe, sporting and sensible driver whose gearbox/engine/hydraulics pack up several times during the year? Does this make him less safe than a driver whose car is more reliable?

#48 Jimisgod

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 17:48

Rename the track 'Sid Watkins Glen' and go back F1 racing there. :up:

#49 Watkins74

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 17:50

I know my posts are really good but in all modesty you guys don't need to name a trophy after me. Thanks anyway.  ;)

#50 pup

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 17:53

There is no incongruity at all. If there is no risk in an activity then there is no need to dedicate work to improved safety and saving lives. If Watkins had spent his life promoting safety in chess or table tennis, you'd never have heard of him. It's because racing is so dangerous that his work was so necessary and so valuable.

I think we agree with one another here. What I termed an incongruity is merely the ethical dilemma similar to that of an army doctor; i.e., working within the situation to make it better as opposed to opposing the situation in it's entirety. Does that make sense?