Mercedes F1 team makes breathing device to fight COVID-19

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As the COVID-19 virus spreads, the immediate impact on medical facilities is a major concern as well as medical devices needed to stabilize patients and their respiratory issues caused by the virus.

In the US, the need for respirators and breathing apparatus is critical and the government has enlisted the help of General Motors and Ford to develop more ventilators. The UK has sought out similar assistance and found it in the form of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 team.

University College London engineers worked with clinicians at UCLH and Mercedes Formula One to build the device, which delivers oxygen to the lungs without needing a ventilator.
Known as a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), Mercedes have delivered forty units which have been approved, and should the trial go well, Mercedes reckons they can deliver 1,000 units per day.

“The Formula 1 community has shown an impressive response to the call for support, coming together in the ‘Project Pitlane’ collective to support the national need at this time across a number of different projects,” said Mercedes HPP chief Andy Cowell.

“We have been proud to put our resources at the service of UCL to deliver the CPAP project to the highest standards and in the fastest possible timeframe.”

The UK government predicts they will need an additional 30,000 units beyond the initial 10,000 unit order they recently placed for ventilators. Along with Airbus, Ford, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Siemens, Mercedes could find themselves in the middle of a crisis situation and becoming a huge assist in the fight against the virus.

Hat Tip: BBC

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Tom Firth

It is nice to see our sport playing a vital role in this and for Mercedes to do this part. The rest of the UK F1 teams + Mercedes are part of the above consortium of aerospace, automotive, defence and specialist companies you mentioned in producing the ventilators orders.