Schumacher claims deaths unavoidable

SEVEN-TIME Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher insists the recent deaths of Marco Simoncelli and Dan Wheldon were down to fate rather than shortcomings in the sport’s safety procedures .

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

Simoncelli, meanwhile, was killed in the MotoGP race in Malaysia last weekend when he lost control of his bike and slid into the path of riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards, who broke his collarbone in the accident.

Schumacher believes motorsport safety has been significantly enhanced since he burst onto the scene, but despite those improvements, he believes all competitors accept 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 maiden Indian Grand Prix.

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

“To have total safety - that is impossible. 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.”