F1 teams looking to provide 20,000 ventilators in coronavirus relief effort
The Formula One season has been more or less postponed, with the first six races having been cancelled or rescheduled. Now, the teams are looking to help the ventilator shortage faced by hospitals world over to help the fight against coronavirus.
According to Reuters, Ferrari and Fiat bosses met with a company responsible for building and supplying ventilators to Italian capital Rome.
Many of the F1 teams including Mercedes, McLaren, Williams, Red Bull, Renault, Racing Point are based in the United Kingdom. The UK's NHS currently has just 8,000 ventilators but Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said at least a further 20,000 would be needed, while the Department for Health has called on suppliers to build “as many as they can”.
An F1 spokesman said:
"The F1 community is engaged in discussions with all the relevant stakeholders regarding this issue with the purpose of providing as much help and assistance as we can during this time. Those discussions are currently ongoing and we will provide further details in due course."
In a statement Formula 1 added that 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 UK government.
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 organisations 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 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 University College London and UCL hospitals, the teams are evaluating a number of routes to support 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."