UK teams to help with ventilator production via Project Pitlane
The collective of seven UK-based Formula 1 teams working to assist the British government in combatting the coronavirus crisis will pool its resources and work united as ‘Project Pitlane’.
The seven squads – Red Bull, Racing Point, Haas, McLaren, Mercedes, Renault and Williams – and their “respective technology arms”, per an F1 statement, are responding to the UK government’s call for aid in the production of urgently needed medical equipment.
This includes manufacturing ventilators, or ventilator parts, that are crucial to providing therapeutic relief to people suffering the acute respiratory distress caused by COVID-19.
The teams’ co-operation was first announced last Friday, and F1’s latest statement explains that in the week since then the collective has “made significant progress in defining and co-ordinating its response to the UK government’s call for assistance”.
F1 has now announced that Project Pitlane will work to provide assistance in three key areas of the UK’s industrial response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“These workstreams vary in scope from reverse engineering existing medical devices, to support in scaling the production of existing ventilator designs as part of the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium, to the rapid design and prototype manufacture of a new device for certification and subsequent production,” read F1’s statement.
“In each instance, Project Pitlane will pool the resources and capabilities of its member teams to greatest effect, focusing on the core skills of the F1 industry: rapid design, prototype manufacture, test and skilled assembly.
“F1’s unique ability to rapidly respond to engineering and technological challenges allows the group to add value to the wider engineering industry’s response.
“The focus of Project Pitlane will now be on coordinating and answering the clear challenges that have been set.
“The seven teams remain ready to support in other areas requiring rapid, innovative technology responses to the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
It is understood that F1 itself is also working as part of the Project Pitlane initiative, with Pat Symonds and his technical team involved in the process.
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