Even if you race with redwings and mechanic glove there are some fire retardant sprays you could coat things with. Some are non toxic and might buy you a few more precious seconds. Supposedly every piece of carpet and material that comes into convention centers has been treated.
Been drinking, buckle up kids. Parental discretion is advised.
Not sure if it's been discussed or not but..... feel. I would assume that most fire proof gloves are thick for obvious reason. Thickness in material would mean a loss of feel. Now coming from almost zero time in a race car compared to 20 years in construction where in the last 5-6 years gloves have become pretty much mandatory, for insurance reasons. (at least in California) Most old timers I work with don't wear them because they can't feel their tools, screws, etc. I wear them because you never know if the jobsite will have a sink to wash your hands. That's a fair comparison as drivers would want to feel the wheel when there's dirt, dust, mud, whatever is floating in the wash off the start of the Baja 500 end up on the steering wheel. You don't want a glove as yet another barrier/gasket between your hand and the wheel.
Now there's also the other reason that most haven't thought about. Claustrophobia. Think Ivan Stewart. Open face helmet, no gloves. Not well known but, claustrophobic from what I've heard. Also more bad ass as he was willing to take cactus to the face and knuckles than to wear gloves and a full face.
So a matter of preference as opposed to something that *looks at every other professional racing organization* is mandatory.