As the coronavirus halts Formula 1 and the rest of the wider world, here’s how the sport is helping to respond to the crisis and the measures taken so far.

A worldwide shortage of life-saving medical equipment - including ventilators - has left global governments reaching out to their respective industry leaders in technology and design for assistance.

F1’s Project Pitlane involves seven of the UK-based teams – Mercedes, Renault, Haas, Williams, Red Bull, Racing Point and McLaren – who are working together to coordinate their resources and capabilities to manufacture medical equipment required in the fight against Coronavirus.

They are focused on three specific workstreams, varying from reverse engineering existing medical devices, support in scaling the production of existing ventilators designs, to the rapid design and prototype manufacture of a new device for certification and subsequent production.

F1’s unique ability to rapidly respond to the engineering and technological challenges faced sees the teams add much needed value to the wider engineering industry’s response.

The breathing aid that has since been developed by Mercedes F1 team has gained regulatory approval for mass production with the UK government placing an initial order for 10,000 units. Mercedes’ Brixworth factory has been repurposed to produce the breathing aids and have given away the design freely to aid in the fight against COVID-19.

Meanwhile McLaren is using their Automotive and Applied technologies departments to work alongside partners at the University of Southampton and Kemp Sails to develop protective equipment for frontline NHS staff.

Let us know your thoughts on F1’s response to the pandemic and how you’ve been dealing with life in these unprecedented times.



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