Ferrari has revealed a new ventilator that it co-designed with the Italian Institute of Technology, in order to help with the fight against the current coronavirus pandemic.
Formula 1 teams are currently on an enforced shutdown due to
the pandemic but they have been using their extensive resources to assist in
projects that help treat the virus.
UK-based teams have been involved in ‘Project Pitlane’, with
Mercedes co-designing and producing CPAP breathing devices, while McLaren has
helped produce ventilator parts and protective equipment.
Red Bull and Renault also collaborated on a project that was
ultimately mothballed by the government.
On Wednesday Ferrari revealed the ‘FI5’ ventilator that has been designed to treat patients requiring intensive care.
The focus when designing the ventilator was on its
reliability, ease of assembly, its ability to optimise oxygen consumption, as
well as being produced in high volume, with easily-available materials, and at
a lower cost than the pulmonary ventilators currently available.
All the technical specifications of FI5, including the
drawings, software and list of components, have been made freely available so
that other companies can produce the ventilator.
Ferrari’s chassis chief Simone Resta headed the project at
Maranello while IIT led its part of the process at its base in Genoa.
Ferrari’s engineers undertook CAD design work and made use
of its supply chain while ITT sourced materials and designed the electronics,
firmware and control software.
The first prototype was assembled at IIT last week and passed
all the mandatory functionality tests.
“The challenge of
COVID-19 was one we wanted to take on,” said Ferrari Team Principal Mattia
“FI5 is the contribution we made as the Scuderia, fielding the very essence of what makes a Formula 1 team and more importantly, all the characteristics that make Ferrari special; its passion, its creativity and its desire to improve.
“This project was a very stimulating experience as well as being truly rewarding for all those involved, who worked side by side with our colleagues from IIT and the other partners.”