F1 Teams Refocus on Fast Production of Ventilators

The COVID-19 virus shutdown has kept Formula 1 cars off the track, at least in real life, so several teams have stepped up to do what they can to help.

Seven teams — Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, BWT Racing Point F1 Team, Haas F1 Team, McLaren F1 Team, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, Renault DP World F1 Team and ROKiT Williams Racing — have joined to create ‘Project Pitlane,’ part of a UK industrywide effort to manufacture and deliver respirators to support COVID-19 treatment efforts across Great Britain.

The teams will combine their resources and focus efforts on the rapid design, prototype, test and assembly of ventilators.

A statement from F1 said: “A collective of UK-based Formula 1 teams, engine manufactures, and their respective technology arms is evaluating support for the manufacture of respiratory devices in response to the UK government’s call for assistance.

“The teams are working in collaboration with F1, the UK government and other organizations to establish the feasibility of the teams producing, or supporting, the production of medical devices to help in the treatment of coronavirus patients.

“All the teams have expert design, technology and production capabilities, and specialize in rapid prototyping and high-value manufacturing, which is hoped can be applied to the critical needs set out by government.”

“Working with Innovate UK, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult team and University College London and UCL hospitals, the teams are evaluating a number of routes to support in conjunction with existing manufacturers and organizations from the aerospace and automotive sectors.

“It is hoped this work, which is being rapidly progressed, will produce a tangible outcome in the next few days.”

The UK is estimated to need an extra 20,000 ventilators to deal with the COVID-19 crisis as it progresses over the coming months. Friday, the death toll in the UK was 1,019, up from 759 at the same time on Thursday, health ministry figures showed. And as of Saturday morning, a total of 120,776 people in Britain had been tested, 17,089 were confirmed positive.

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