During the past week, the collective of UK-based Formula 1 teams and their respective technology arms has made significant progress in defining and coordinating its response to the UK Government’s call for assistance with the manufacture of medical devices to help in the treatment of coronavirus patients. The teams’ combined efforts, termed ‘Project Pitlane’, are part of a UK industry-wide effort to manufacture and deliver respiratory devices to support the national need.
Following decisions taken on Monday by the UK Government, Project Pitlane will focus on at least three workstreams. These workstreams vary in scope from reverse engineering existing medical devices, to support in scaling the production of existing ventilator designs as part of the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium, to the rapid design and prototype manufacture of a new device for certification and subsequent production.
In each instance, Project Pitlane will pool the resources and capabilities of its member teams to greatest effect, focusing on the core skills of the F1 industry: rapid design, prototype manufacture, test and skilled assembly. F1’s unique ability to rapidly respond to engineering and technological challenges allows the group to add value to the wider engineering industry’s response.
The focus of Project Pitlane will now be on coordinating and answering the clear challenges that have been set. The teams remain ready to support in other areas requiring rapid, innovative technology responses to the unique challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.