Flying drain cover strikes Jenson Button’s car during Monaco practice

Jenson Button drives on track during practice for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 26, 2016 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.

Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Jenson Button had a lucky escape in FP1 at Monaco when he struck a drain access cover that had been dislodged by Nico Rosberg.

Rosberg suffered a left rear puncture when he hit the loose drain cover, which has not been properly welded down, at the exit of Ste Devote.

The object was flung into the air, right into the path of Button. Fortunately, it landed on the front wing of the McLaren, breaking the right endplate.

The consequences of it hitting Button’s helmet are all too obvious, so the incident has added further momentum to the debate over the Halo and Aeroscreen head protection devices that the FIA is currently evaluating.

Meanwhile, the Monaco organizers are in the spotlight because a similar incident took place at almost the same point late in the 2010 Monaco GP, causing the driver’s left rear wheel to collapse which triggered a huge accident.