Motorsport engineering to the rescue?
The Agnelli family, who control the Ferrari Formula 1 team and road car business, as well as the Fiat Chrysler company and Juventus football club, have made a €10 million donation to the Italian Civil Protection Department, and a social assistance organisation called Specchio dei Tempi/La Stampa, to help both authorities deal with the health and social needs in the city of Turin and the region of Piedmont as the virus continues to spread.
The family’s companies have also sourced and purchased a total of 150 ventilators, alongside other medical equipment from various overseas suppliers, and are preparing for their immediate air transport to Italy to help ease the burden on the health services.
Meanwhile, UK health minister Matt Hancock has called on British manufacturers to consider switching parts of their production to the making of medical ventilators needed to treat rising numbers of coronavirus patients. The UK has 5,000 ventilators but needs many more times that number, Hancock saying “anyone who can” should “turn their engineering minds and production lines to making them … We need to produce more.”
The majority of F1 teams have responded to the call and are working with government and health authorities to work out ways of using their engineering facilities to boost production of the supply of ventilators during the coronavirus crisis.