Formula 1 has revealed how the seven British-based teams – working collectively under the banner ‘Project Pitlane’ – are working to help the UK government manufacture medical devices to help the treatment of those with COVID-19.
Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren, Renault, Racing Point, Haas and Williams all offered their expertise to help achieve British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s stipulated target of building 30,000 ventilators, initially saying they were evaluating the ways in which they could assist.
F1 has now explained how three workstreams have been established to tackle different aspects of the challenge relating to reverse engineering existing devices, increasing production and new designs.
“Following decisions taken this week by the UK government, Project Pitlane is focused on three workstreams,” said an F1 statement.
“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.”
The Race’s Gary Anderson explained how F1 teams could play a part in producing ventilator equipment ahead of the announcement of their cooperation to help tackle the crisis.
Separate to the Project Pitlane initiative, another British motorsport outfit in Prodrive has helped to join the fight against COVID-19.
The outfit which led Subaru to World Rally Championship glory in 1995 and currently builds Aston Martin’s GT racing cars has also switched its focus to manufacturing ventilators.