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F1 teams in UK launch Project Pitlane to help in coronavirus fight

"F1's unique ability to rapidly respond to engineering and technological challenges allows the group to add value," say the teams as Project Pitlane scheme unveiled

The seven UK-based Formula 1 teams have launched 'Project Pitlane' to help with the production of ventilator equipment in the fight against coronavirus.

The teams - Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren, Renault, Racing Point, Haas and Williams - and their respective technology arms, plus F1 themselves, have been coordinating their response to the Government's call for companies to provide assistance with manufacturing medical equipment.

And the F1 teams, whose capability to develop and produce concepts at a rapid development rate is a key aspect of the sport, say they are ready to meet the national challenge.

"Following decisions taken this week by the UK Government, Project Pitlane is focussed on three workstreams," read an F1 statement.

"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.

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David Croft says that some Formula 1 teams are assisting the government in providing facilities to build ventilators and respiratory equipment.

"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.

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"The focus of Project Pitlane will now be on coordinating and answering the clear challenges that have been set."

The statement added that the seven teams "remain ready to support in other areas requiring rapid, innovative technology responses to the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic".

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