New Delhi, Sept. 5 -- Last week, it was Anthoine Hubert, aged 22 years. Back in 1973, there was another likeable Frenchman called Francois Cevert who gave himself to motor racing-and it took him. In a biography published soon after Cevert's death in a racing accident at the age of 29, these evocative words of his framed an enduring paradox.

"This lightheartedness (racing and celebrating in the shadows of death) might seem out of place. It is not, for we all know, everyone of us, that there is death in our contract. The more I drive, the more I realise it could happen to me; but in fact it would take more courage for me to give up racing than it would to go on," Cevert is quoted as saying in Formula 1: The Autobiography, an excellent anth...