For most people it seems like racing gloves are a security feature, protecting from potential fire hazard that might happen while you drive you race prepped (Italian) supercar. Any people who are not
1 - Racecar drivers in full blown race suits actually racing
2 - Racecar drivers doing a photoshoot
3 - Racecar drivers being drunk and goofing around (yes, looking at you Kimi)
are simply not supposed to wear them, because hey, that's "stupid"!
Well, no it's not. And if you actually had spent some time in a car around a track for more than 30 minutes in a row, you would immediately know why.
First, you don't drive on a track like you do on the freeway or on the way back home. Rule number one for driving on a track is to have both hands on the wheel, at all time, except to shift or save yourself from an imminent crash, because ohhhhhhh fuck, you lost it and have to countersteer like hell! Driving like this generates a few physical inconveniences... Main one, being that you sweat, like hell. You will sweat even if you drive a Geo Metro for the good and simple reason that it takes lots of concentration to get it to its maximum. That combined with the fact that you will not be moving your hands AT ALL but to shift for 30 minutes or more in a row will make your hands slippery. Very slippery, and when time will come to save the car from certain death, good luck doing it with slippery hands on that plastic Suzuki steering wheel.
Secondly, what can happen when you masturbate without gloves for too long?
Ok, maybe not, but you see the point. Driving for 1 hour in a row, on a track, in a car with a leather steering wheel, this is bound to happen. And it hurts. A lot. This is the main reason why you see videos of simracing guys with crazy setups who drive with racing gloves. "Haha, this idiot really thinks he's a racecar driver!"... No, this idiot knows first hand (pun intended) what driving for hours and hours around a track, virtual or not, without gloves do to your hands. So he wears them.
Thirdly, Alcantara and leather do not like sweat. AT ALL. While your leather steering wheel might handle your sweat and blood, that will be here due to your refusal to wear gloves because you don't want to be "one of those guys who use gloves during track days", your alcantara wheel will be dead in a few track day bro sessions...
So yes, racing gloves are useful. No one blames you for preferring to drive with your fully fireproof Sparco shoes right? These are narrow, light and you feel the pedals a lot better. So don't blame people who go to racetracks with gloves not knowing the reason why they do it and thinking they just want to look cool. They might just want that, true, but chances are that it's not the case. Wear gloves, while on track, really... It might help save your car someday. If not that, at least your wife will let you touch her when you get home with hands that don't bleed with putrefied skin falling apart.