Formula One’s seven UK-based teams have joined forces to manufacture the medical devices needed to help treat coronavirus patients in the UK.
Collectively known as ‘Project Pitlane’, the seven teams — Haas, McLaren, Mercedes, Racing Point, Red Bull, Renault and Williams — are working with F1 to coordinate a response to the UK government’s call for the manufacture of much-needed medical equipment.
Devices such as ventilators are crucial in treating patients with severe symptoms, who often experience breathing difficulties and need to be treated in hospital. Due to the sudden rise in coronavirus cases in the UK, ventilators are in short supply and the government has called on the country’s industry to help reach a target of manufacturing 30,000 new units over the coming months.
A statement released by Formula One outlined how the teams intend to offer their expertise to help the country in its time of crisis.
“Following decisions taken this week by the UK government, Project Pitlane is focussed on three workstreams,” the statement said.
“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.
“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.”
Ferrari has also offered its engineering expertise to combat the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in Italy, as well as donating €10 million in support of Italian Civil Protection Department.