Jenson Button says Fernando Alonso's accident in the Australian Grand Prix isn't a reason to question the benefits of a cockpit 'halo' device after it was suggested he wouldn't have been able to extricate himself from his damaged car had it been fitted.
Alonso suffered terrifying 300kmh crash at turn three on lap 18 of the Albert Park race after striking the back of Esteban Gutierrez's Haas and barrel rolling across the gravel trap.
Though totally unharmed despite its severity, Alonso was forced to crawl out of a small space between the car – which had come to rest with the cockpit entry facing the wall – and the barriers, before walking away.
However, some have questioned with a halo protection device would have stopped him being able to extricate himself as it would have potentially hindered his exit.
Though the man himself wasn't sure when asked, admitting it to be a 'good question', team-mate Button – who has been a strong supporter of the device since the death of Justin Wilson last August -, says such an issue is smaller than what the device could prevent.
"There was no need for him to get out in that situation," he said. “There's more safety risk of things hitting our head than anything happening when the car's upside down.
"It's very unusual that there would be an issue with fuel spillage or anything like that because you have the safety cell and the way that the fuel tanks are, it won't happen. I think it's better to have a halo system.
"They would tip the car over of course to get him out, so it takes a bit longer, but he was OK so it doesn't matter."
Over the weekend, Red Bull officially unveiled renderings of its cockpit protection device, which features a screen, unlike the halo, which comes up over and around the driver, leaving a central strut in the driver's vision.
Though the device has split opinion amongst drivers, the FIA says it is on course for a 2017 introduction and is now well developed.