BMW motorsport boss Mario Theissen says he has no doubts Robert Kubica would have been killed if he had had his Canadian Grand Prix accident a decade ago.
A major push by motor racing's governing body the FIA to increase safety levels in the sport helped Kubica escape with just a sprained ankle from his serious crash in Montreal.
There seems little doubt that recent advances with cockpit head protection and the HANS device helped ensure Kubica suffered such few injuries.
And Theissen believes the outcome would have been completely different just a decade ago.
"I think he wouldn't have survived something like this 10 years ago," said Theissen, who has said he will wait until Thursday to decide whether or not Kubica can race at Indianapolis this weekend.
"To get a driver back unhurt after such a huge accident is fantastic."
Theissen said the team had to wait until several minutes after the crash to realise that Kubica was relatively unscathed.
"We got information over race control maybe 15 minutes after the accident and then I went down to the medical centre - but he'd already been deployed to the hospital.
"It is a shame because before the accident it was all going to plan and I think he could have finished on the podium as well."
Kubica is due to be released from hospital today following overnight observation.