“He would look after everyone in the paddock, whether they’d been up to some mischief or else simply had a headache. He was caring, compassionate and loved everyone in F1. We always knew he was there for us.
“I came across him quite a lot because I had some fairly big accidents. Everybody remembers Monza 1990, when I got upside down. After the race was stopped I ran back for the spare and drove it to the grid. The first person that greeted me was Sid, who said, ‘Oi you, get out.’ I was petrified that he’d stop me racing, because I felt fine. We sat in the back of the medical car and he started firing questions about my name, my age and so on. I thought it was a joke, so I told him I was Nelson Piquet. He said, ‘No Derek, I’m serious. What’s your name?’ I insisted that I was Nelson Piquet, at which point he jumped out, grabbed Bernie Ecclestone and asked him to make it clear that I had to take this seriously or I wouldn’t be racing. Suddenly, I started answering his questions…
“After I rolled into the gravel at Hockenheim in 1993, Sid was soon there, took me to the medical centre and started testing everything. I’ll always remember him removing a stone from my ear, after gravel had forced itself into my helmet, and as he took it out he said, ‘Hmmm, I think that’s from Monza 1990…’
“When my team-mate Martin Donnelly crashed at Jerez in 1990, I got to the scene fairly quickly and as far as I was concerned he was probably dead. Sid then arrived and we all knew him as this loving figure, who’d be careful laying out an injured driver to protect his back, neck and so on. When he got to Martin, though, he realised the severity of the situation and basically beat the shit out of him to get him going again. That was his other side. When he had to be rough and ready to save a life, he was there for us then, too.”