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
Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph Prime

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021