Mark Webber believes that man will always continue to take risks in pursuit of thrills, despite the ever-present threat of danger and, as proven in recent weeks, death.
Writing in the wake of the tragedies that befell the IndyCar and MotoGP fraternities in Las Vegas and Malaysia respectively, the Australian's regular BBC
column paid tribute to both Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli, but explained that it was part of the human make-up to continue to explore the limits of what was possible physically.
No stranger to extreme sports, notably through his Tasmania Challenge adventure race, Webber is well aware of the dangers, but admits that the resultant adrenaline rush is what drives participants to their limits.
"The Simoncelli crash was an unusual incident, but it was another brutal reminder that racing sometimes has a dark side," he wrote, "It doesn't matter what level of series it is, or how famous the person involved, it's always a tragedy when someone is killed racing.
"To have two crashes like this in one week has obviously put the focus on safety. It has improved immeasurably in the last couple of decades. People such as Sir Jackie Stewart had to deal with this sort of thing frequently compared to the relative rarity now. The powers-that-be are always looking to make it safer. In F1, in particular, the FIA and the teams do a great job on that, but motorsport will always be dangerous just because of the speeds involved, and people will always want to do it.
"Motorsport is man and machine. Over the decades drivers and riders have loved trying to tame that machine at the same time as trying to take it and ourselves as far as we can go. Doing that, especially against other people, is very attractive - but it's not just motorsport.
"There are lots of sports and activities where people do dangerous things because they are attracted by the thrill they get from it. It could be horse racing, downhill skiing, mountain climbing, flying aeroplanes, ocean yachting, whatever. A huge amount of people enjoy the adrenaline rush you get from doing those things. When you take it to a professional level, the boundaries are pushed to the edge. That might be by the conditions, the weather, or the competition. But we are always looking to improve and searching for the ultimate performance.
"How do we go quicker or higher? How do we do it better than other people? That's what the focus and the concentration are for all those activities. The only downside is when it doesn't pan out. We love doing it and the only negative is that you can get hurt. If you're going to do these activities, that's something you have to accept. There are lots of other things you can do in life that don't have those consequences, but they don't give you the same satisfaction.
"I think a person's need to do these things goes beyond even that. Exploring the limits and pushing beyond them - whether in science, exploration or sport - is fundamental to human nature."