- Associated Press - Thursday, October 27, 2011

NEW DELHI (AP) - Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher said he’s touched by the recent deaths of two motorsports stars but believes they are more due to fate than deficiencies in the sport’s safety.

Schumacher commented Thursday on the deaths of IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon and MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli, saying motorsports 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 before the 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 the Indy 500 winner’s car was launched into the air and into perimeter fencing.

Simoncelli was killed in the MotoGP race in Malaysia last weekend when he fell into the path of two approaching riders who could not avoid the collision.

“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.”