Project pitlane: F1's combined response to ventilator challenge


F1 engineers are using their expertise to design new ventilators and increase the production rate for the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic

Staff memeber at the McLaren Technology centre washes down a component

Racing component development at the McLaren Technology Centre


Seven British-based Formula 1 teams are pooling their resources to boost the NHS’s stock of ventilators, as coronavirus cases climb.

The group, dubbed Project Pitlane, is using its engineering expertise and experience of devising rapid solutions to develop a new ventilator design, as well as helping to increase production of existing devices.

Red Bull, Racing Point, Haas, McLaren, Mercedes, Renault and Williams have joined forces, working with Formula 1 and the Government.

They are part of the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium, working flat out to increase the supply of the the medical devices, which are crucial in treating severely-affected COVID-19 patients.

A statement from Formula 1 said: “Following decisions taken this week by the UK Government, Project Pitlane is focussed on 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 seven teams remain ready to support in other areas requiring rapid, innovative technology responses to the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”