Mercedes F1 team helps breathe and fight against coronavirus

3 Apr

In a week, Mercedes could manufacture 1,000 respirators daily. It is at the expense of the respiratory device he has developed, shoulder to shoulder with University College London, passing all sanitary requirements to take charge. It is not a respirator, but rather an apparatus capable of transmitting oxygen directly to the lungs, without further intervention. This could greatly reduce the workload in ICUs (Intensive Care Units).

If someone is used to making decisions that involve technological development in a short time, those are the Formula 1 teams, capable of evolving a very complex car in a couple of weeks. That is why the Project Pitlane emerged, which united seven teams based in the United Kingdom to work against the coronavirus (Mercedes, Williams, Red Bull, Racing Point, Hass, McLaren, Mercedes and Renault).

After just 100 hours of work, the members of the Mercedes-AMG High Performance Drivetrain (makers of the hybrid V6 engine that the cars use) understand how a device that helps breathing works and can mass-produce it. With the first unit on the table and which has passed the approval, it will be some university hospitals that carry out the clinical tests with a hundred units.

If everything goes according to plan, distribution will begin throughout the country. It is surprising how the entire production process has been simplified in a short space of time, something that can take months or years.

The device that the Mercedes team plans to develop in masse could help breathing patients who are not in the most serious state (those who are not able to breathe on their own, who would require a respirator, a much more complex device). If we are guided by cases in Italy, up to 50% of patients with COVID-19 could be helped by this treatment of positive airway pressure (CPAP).