Seven UK-based Formula 1 teams are manufacturing more than 20,000 orders of breathing apparatuses for the NHS in an attempt to treat novel coronavirus patients.
Normally, these engineers who would have been fierce rivals. However, they have now joined forces in an attempt to manufacture over 10,000 ventilators for NHS hospitals.
Additionally, 10,000 breathing-aid devices are currently in production, courtesy of the invention led by the University College London Hospital and Mercedes F1 Team.
Mercedes F1 has designed the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device, which is a breathing aid that helps lung infection patients to breathe more easily.
BBC reports that Mercedes has dedicated its UK engine base in Brixworth entirely for the production of the CPAP device. Reportedly, they are producing around 1,000 such units every day.
The new orders that the British F1 teams are currently manufacturing are called "Rapidly Manufactured Ventilator System" (RMVS).
The RMVS was first developed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). As of now, the organisation has received government orders of more than 10,000 units for the NHS.
In March, the UK-based Formula 1 teams began working on a collaboration known as the "Project Pitlane" based on three different workstreams after discussions with the Government on the requirements for dealing with the current coronavirus crisis.
There was a third project that aimed to produce a simple breathing contraption, which eventually had to be abandoned. The cancellation of the production of the simple breathing contraption was finalised after it became apparent that more sophisticated equipment is required for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
The project that was discontinued was called BlueSky, and the aim of the program was the production of a portable ventilator design that was originally invented under the NHS young entrepreneur scheme by a junior doctor, Alastair Darwood.
Engineers at Red Bull and Renault worked closely with Darwood, along with other clinical experts to deliver prototypes for the BlueSky design within three weeks with help from the other F1 teams based in the UK.
However, later the NHS found this relatively simple model was no longer required because such equipment isn't capable of treating complex COVID-19 patients.