Coronavirus: Formula 1 teams are to help in supply of ventilators

Australian Grand Prix
The Australian Grand Prix was cancelled after a McLaren team member tested positive for the virus

Formula 1 teams are working with government and health authorities to increase the supply of ventilators during the coronavirus crisis.

Ventilators are a device used to help supply more air to patients with breathing difficulties, one of the effects of severe coronavirus symptoms.

The majority of F1 teams are aiming to work out ways to use their engineering facilities to boost production.

F1 said the aim was to "provide as much help and assistance as we can".

A spokesman said: "The F1 community is engaged in discussions with all the relevant stakeholders regarding this issue and we will provide further details in due course."

A number of teams have applied-technologies divisions that could directly feed into the national production capacity of ventilators in the UK and Italy, particularly McLaren, Red Bull, Williams, Mercedes and Ferrari.

But all teams have advanced manufacturing capability that could potentially be used to make complex devices such as this, and as many will help as can.

The idea is to increase the supply of the existing design of ventilators rather than try to come up with a new approach.

The UK is estimated to need an extra 20,000 ventilators to deal with the crisis as it develops over the coming months.

It is hoped that an approach can be agreed within the next week that will help teams feed into capacity as quickly as possible, to boost the capability of health services to deal with increasing numbers of patients with breathing difficulties.

The move follows the Agnelli family which controls Ferrari and Fiat donating €10m (£9.3m) to the Italian government to help deal with the coronavirus emergency at a national level, as well as buying 150 extra ventilators and providing a fleet of cars to distribute food and medicine.

Top Stories