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UK-based F1 teams assessing call for help with ventilators

Daniel Herrero

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Saturday 21st March, 2020 - 9:58am

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Red Bull Racing’s Milton Keynes factory

United Kingdom-based Formula 1 teams are determining if they are able to meet the government’s call for assistance with the production of respiratory devices needed to address the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a statement from F1, teams and their related parties are “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 Formula 1, the UK Government and other organisations to establish the feasibility of the teams producing, or supporting the production of, medical devices to help in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.”

It is hoped that the technological capabilities of F1 teams, as well as aerospace and automotive organisations, can help to address the critical shortage caused by the pandemic.

Earlier this week, the Agnelli family which controls the Italian-based Scuderia Ferrari outfit, Fiat Chrysler, and the Juventus football club, revealed a €10 million donation to the Italian Civil Protection Department and a social assistance organisation known as Specchio dei Tempi/La Stampa.

It has also sourced and purchased 150 ventilators and is providing vehicles to the Italian Red Cross and ANPAS (the Italian National Association for Public Assistance).

Italy has since surpassed China for the greatest number of COVID-19-related deaths and its total now exceeds 4000.

F1’s statement regarding the UK’s call reads, in full, “A collective of UK-based Formula 1 teams, engine manufacturers 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 Formula 1, the UK Government and other organisations to establish the feasibility of the teams producing, or supporting the production of, medical devices to help in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

“All the teams have expert design, technology and production capabilities, and specialise 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 UCL and University College London Hospitals, the teams are evaluating a number of routes in conjunction with existing manufacturers and organisations 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.”

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