The Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 team has been the talk of the town these past few days. This is mainly due to the announcement of Sebastian Vettel leaving by the end of the 2020 season, and people wondering who his replacement might be. However, behind all the rumors and gossip Ferrari’s Formula 1 team has also been doing their part to help with the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the team recently even developed their own medical ventilator.
Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow has partnered with the Italian Institute of Technology in order to build a pulmonary ventilator that can be used by hospitals to fight against COVID-19. The ventilator is called FI5 – the letters being the initials of the Maranello marque and the research institute, while the number indicates the number of weeks required to produce a fully functioning prototype, starting from a clean sheet of paper.
According to the F1 team, the FI5 ventilator was designed to meet the demands of medium intensive care patients. At the same time, it is reliable, versatile, and easy to use and assemble in any hospital clinic. Due to the use of easily available materials, it is also more affordable as compared to currently available pulmonary ventilators in the market.
To help more than just people in Italy, Scuderia Ferrari has made the technical specification of FI5, the drawings, the firmware, software, and a list of components available as an open-source project. The F1 team even says that Italian, Mexican, and US companies have already contacted Ferrari and IIT to “move on to certifying and distributing the product”.
“The challenge of COVID-19 was one we wanted to take on. FI5 is the contribution we made as 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,” said Mattia Binotto, Managing Director Gestione Sportiva and Team Principal.
The first prototype of the FI5 ventilator has been assembled and is now undergoing functionality tests. Further analysis is currently being made to see what further developments can be introduced.
Since Scuderia Ferrari has made their ventilators open-source, hopefully, someone in the Philippines can start building these ventilators locally. It would surely help with the increasing number of COVID-19 patients across the country.