Mercedes repurposes F1 facility for breathing aid production

Mercedes has revealed its Formula 1 engine facility at Brixworth has been entirely repurposed for the production of breathing aids to assist COVID-19 patients.

Mercedes repurposes F1 facility for breathing aid production

Members of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrain worked with engineers from University College London to reverse engineer CPAP machines that received approval for NHS usage last week.

The device, known as UCL-Ventura, has undergone evaluations at University College Hospital and other London hospitals, with the government placing an order of 10,000.

To meet this demand amid a CPAP machine shortage in the UK, Mercedes has turned over its Brixworth facility to produce the devices ahead of the anticipated peak of the COVID-19 crisis.

"After a UK Government order for up to 10,000, the devices are being produced at a rate of up to 1,000 a day at the HPP technology centre in Brixworth, Northamptonshire," a release from Mercedes reads.

"Currently, 40 machines that would normally produce F1 pistons and turbochargers are being used for production of the CPAP devices, and the entire Brixworth facility has been repurposed to meet this demand."

Further advancements have been made with the UCL-Ventura. Mark II of the device has reduced oxygen consumption by up to 70% compared to Mark I, and has also now received government approval.

As well as its own production of the device which is designed to keep patients out of intensive care by providing improved respiratory support, Mercedes has also made the device open-source.

The title sponsor of Mercedes' F1 team, Petronas, has confirmed it will produce the devices in Malaysia. Details for manufacturers on how to produce the device can be found here. 

"Since the project was announced, we have received an incredible number of enquiries about the CPAP device from around the world," Mercedes HPP chief Andy Cowell said.

"Making the design and manufacturing specifications openly available will allow companies around the world to produce these devices at speed and at scale to support the global response to COVID-19."

Professor David Lomas, UCL Vice Provost Health, added: "These life-saving devices will provide vital support to the NHS in coming weeks, helping to keep patients off ventilators and reducing demand on intensive care beds and staff.

"We believe they can also make a real difference around the world in supporting healthcare systems preparing for COVID-19."

Along with the six other UK-based F1 teams, Mercedes is part of 'Project Pitlane', a scheme that will see the sport's engineering capabilities be diverted to support the drive against COVID-19.

shares
comments
Renault still has questions over Racing Point's 'Pink Mercedes'
Previous article

Renault still has questions over Racing Point's 'Pink Mercedes'

Next article

F1 considering token system for 2020-21 car development

F1 considering token system for 2020-21 car development
Load comments
The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom Prime

The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom

Sell out crowds at Formula 1 races are the norm rather than the exception these days, as grand prix racing is enjoying a massive boom under Liberty Media. But the Spanish Grand Prix highlighted numerous issues some circuits may face as demand for F1 soars

The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice Prime

The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice

OPINION: Red Bull walked into a team orders saga on its way to taking a Spanish Grand Prix 1-2 last weekend, where it took the lead of the 2022 Formula 1 world championships for the first time. But its decisions have added an element of risk to later races.

Formula 1
May 25, 2022
Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed Prime

Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed

Mercedes' strong showing in last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix prompted team boss Toto Wolff to say it had halved its deficit to the leaders and its Formula 1 title chances were back on after a rocky start to the 2022 campaign. But a closer inspection of the team's performance suggests its gains aren't as grand as they first appeared

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy? Prime

What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy?

From the 'pink Mercedes' to the 'Green Red Bull', the Silverstone-based team has received suspicious glares from up and down the Formula 1 paddock over its car design exploits. But after being cleared by the FIA over its Spanish Grand Prix updates amid a backdrop of cries of foul play, what's next in this saga?

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

In an unusually hectic Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was denied a dominant performance by his Ferrari engine letting go which allowed Max Verstappen to pick up the pieces. But numerous flashpoints kept the race twisting and turning throughout, with one perfect score from an emerging contender

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain Prime

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari engine disaster offered an open goal for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to strike, but the reigning Formula 1 world champion still had to solve multiple errors and profit from a begrudged assist from team-mate Sergio Perez, which created an unexpectedly eventful Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022
The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Prime

The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

Formula 1
May 19, 2022