Schumacher: Deaths in Motorsport Down to 'Fate'

Seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher said Thursday he is touched by this month’s deaths of two motorsport stars but believes they are down to fate rather than deficiencies in the sport's safety.

Commenting on the deaths of IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon and MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli, Schumacher said motorsport safety had been "hugely improved."

Despite those improvements, Schumacher said all competitors accepted the inherent risk of serious accidents.

"If something has to happen, that is something I would call fate, and fate is something we are all faced with," Schumacher said ahead of this weekend's inaugural Indian Grand Prix.

"I am touched by what happened to both drivers but unfortunately we have to say that is life."

Wheldon was killed in a multiple-car collision in an IndyCar race in Las Vegas, when his car was launched into the air and into perimeter fencing. The British driver was a two-time former winner of the famed Indy 500.

Simoncelli was killed in the MotoGP race in Malaysia last weekend when he lost control of his bike and slid into the path of two approaching riders.

"To have total safety — that is impossible," Schumacher said.

"I don't think when we drive we are thinking about putting ourselves in danger. When we push our cars to the limit, that is what we feel comfortable with."

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, a two-time world champion, said watching such accidents "doesn't affect you when you're driving. It affects you during the week — it was very sad days."

"When you are driving, when you close the visor, you don't think about the risk," Alonso said. "The love and adrenaline you have when you are driving blocks out the risk.

"The Dan accident I saw the replay, on the news, and I was shocked for two or three days. For Marco, it was live, I was watching the race. I did not believe — Sunday and Monday still — that this had happened."

Source: Associated Press

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