Formula One's brilliant act to help fight COVID-19

Formula One teams have answered UK government calls to help combat the coronavirus pandemic in any way they can.

The F1 is a multi-billion dollar business and expertise in design, technology and production is at the forefront of each and every team that makes up the organisation.

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It should come as little surprise that in a time of global crisis - when an 'all-hands-on-deck' mentality is required - the F1's capabilities are highly sought after.

The sport's governing body has revealed that UK-based teams are working with the British government and health officials to increase the supply of medical equipment used to fight COVID-19.

The F1 teams are hoping to implement a plan within the next few days to provide more ventilators to already overburdened hospitals.

Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes could provide a valuable medical contribution to the fight against COVID-19. Pic: Getty

The ventilators - which are in short supply - help patients with breathing difficulties, which is a common effect of someone with coronavirus symptoms.

British health authorities have also engaged the expertise of the aerospace and automotive sectors to help expedite the production of the ventilators.

It's estimated the UK needs 20,000 more ventilators to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, with teams such as McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull and Williams possessing applied-technologies departments and manufacturing capabilities that could prove invaluable.

A statement from the F1 says they hope for "a tangible outcome in the next few days" with regard to situation.

"A collective of UK-based Formula 1 teams, engine manufactures and their respective technology arms is evaluating support for the manufacture of respiratory devices in response to the UK government's call for assistance," the statement read.

Renault's Esteban Ocon wears a safety mask at the Australian GP amid the coronavirus pandemic. Pic: Getty

"The teams are working in collaboration with F1, the UK government and other organisations to establish the feasibility of the teams producing, or supporting, the production of medical devices to help in the treatment of coronavirus patients.

"All the teams have expert design, technology and production capabilities, and specialise in rapid prototyping and high-value manufacturing, which is hoped can be applied to the critical needs set out by government.

"Working with Innovate UK, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult team and University College London and UCL hospitals, the teams are evaluating a number of routes to support in conjunction with existing manufacturers and organisations from the aerospace and automotive sectors.

"It is hoped this work, which is being rapidly progressed, will produce a tangible outcome in the next few days."

Monaco GP the latest race to be affected by COVID-19

The F1's statement comes after Monaco became the latest race affected by the global coronavirus pandemic.

Monaco cancelled its showcase Formula One Grand Prix, the most famous and glamorous race on the calendar, in another high-profile sporting casualty earlier in the week.

F1 had earlier announced the race was postponed, along with the Dutch and Spanish races also scheduled for May, and also pushed back a major technical rules revamp from 2021 to 2022.

But The Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) said uncertainty about the teams' participation and border controls, with neighbouring Italy in lockdown, made the situation 'untenable' and postponement was impossible.

A popular race for historic race cars, which uses the same tight and twisty fenced streets and was scheduled for earlier in May, was also called off.

"Under no circumstances will it be possible to organise these events later this year," said the ACM.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was born in Monaco while Mercedes' six-times world champion Lewis Hamilton and other drivers also live there.

The announcement about Monaco, a highlight of the motorsport season scheduled for May 24, came as the Mediterranean principality revealed its ruler Prince Albert had tested positive for the virus.

The 10 teams and the sport's top officials earlier agreed unanimously in a conference call to delay the implementation of technical changes that have been years in the planning.

With agencies