Bahrain's F1 circuit to build COVID-19 ventilators and share blueprints worldwide
Bahrain's legendary F1 circuit is to produce hundreds of ventilators for COVID-19 patients – and share the blueprints free of charge worldwide.
Engineers from the track, which hosts the Grand Prix championship race each year, designed the breathing apparatus in just two weeks for non-ICU patients in need of respiratory assistance.
The device was then built from scratch in partnership with intensive care doctors from Salmaniya Medical Complex's Respiratory Therapy Department and Medical Equipment Department.
Now an order has been placed for the first 100 machines following extensive testing and approval by Bahrain's Ministry of Health.
Bahrain International Circuit is also sharing the blueprints free of charge to organisations around the world amid global efforts to increase ventilator capacity.
Initially, two different machines were designed and both have been approved – the first by design team lead and BIC mechanical engineer Kamel Al-Taan and the other by Tareq AlTajer.
Fayez Ramzy Fayez, Chief Operating Officer at Bahrain International Circuit, said: “At a time of global crisis, we have been seeking ways in which the BIC can support the fight against COVID-19.
“Our engineers have met that challenge by designing a ventilator system specifically to support those suffering from COVID-19.
“As this is a global effort, we are happy to make these designs available to other organizations around the world who are seeking to find similar solutions.”
Bahrain International Circuit has hosted the annual Formula One Championship since 2004, but this year the race was postponed as a precautionary measure.
Instead, a virtual Grand Prix was held featuring celebrities and F1 drivers including Lando Norris and One Direction star Liam Payne.
The eventual winner was Formula 2 racer Guanyou Zhou who soared into the lead from third on the grid, finishing a full 11.392s over ex-McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne.
It comes after Formula 1’s seven UK-based teams announced plans to work together in Project Pitlane – a part of VentilatorChallengeUK, which aims to quickly produce medical equipment during the crisis.