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Max Mosley: Fernando Alonso crash would have killed him 15 years ago

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'Alonso survival a tribute to F1's crash structures' (1:26)

Jonathan Legard says that Fernando Alonso's crash will mean that the cockpit protection measure from 2017 will be in full focus. (1:26)

Former FIA president Max Mosley says Fernando Alonso would not have survived his crash at the Australian Grand Prix had it happened 15 or 20 years ago.

Alonso walked away unscathed from a terrifying barrel roll in Melbourne and afterwards said he was "lucky" to be alive, praising the safety of modern F1 cars. Mosley, head of the FIA from 1993 to 2009, was one of the instrumental figures in improving safety after Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna were killed during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix weekend.

Asked if Alonso would have survived the impact 15 or 20 years ago, Mosley told the Telegraph: "I don't think he would have. You wouldn't know for sure without a detailed analysis but generally speaking those sorts of accidents resulted in serious injury or death. Happily that seems to have stopped now."

The work done on safety after Imola in 1994 prevented another fatality in Formula One for over 20 years. Last year former Marussia driver Jules Bianchi succumbed to the massive head injuries he sustained at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix when he collided with a recovery vehicle.

"There are still freak accidents, like Jules [Bianchi's], but those sort of serious racing accidents, you do expect the driver to walk away. That wouldn't have been the case 20 years ago."

Mosley also told the newspaper he is in favour of the Halo device, one of two cockpit protection concepts being considered for introduction to Formula One next year. After Alonso's crash, McLaren team-mate Jenson Button said the accident could not be used as an argument against the safety of Halo -- one of the biggest concerns about the device is the logistics of freeing a driver from an overturned car. Alonso had to crawl out from his overturned car after the shunt in Melbourne.