Why? Why do you have to be "brave" to race? Drivers were "brave" in the past because the situation was such that death stalked the paddock at every race. I would bet that drivers didn't consider themselves "brave" in most cases, however. No more than a rock climber considers himself brave. I've climbed (not very well, sadly) and whilst I scared myself a bit, I don't consider that I was "brave" in doing it.
Today, we don't have accept death in the paddock because we can be, and are, better at dealing with the energies involved.
More important in racing, surely, is skill.