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    COVID-19: How is the F1 Community Helping?

Countries around the world are facing unprecedented challenges owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Extensive measures have been taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and to help patients that need treatment.

Faced with these challenges, we also see a great desire to help from people and organisations around the world. Formula One teams and their partners are just some of many industries that are taking big steps to try and alleviate the situation. But what exactly is the world of F1 doing? Let’s look at the details.

Please note: This article is continuously updated to reflect the latest information as it becomes available. 

‘Project Pitlane’

F1 teams are fierce competitors on the racetrack, but they are united in their willingness to help in the current situation and have come together to collaborate on a programme called ‘Project Pitlane’. Together with F1, the UK government and other organisations, the UK-based Formula 1 teams, engine manufacturers and their technology divisions are supporting the manufacture of respiratory devices.

👉 More information on Project Pitlane can be found here  

A first example of the work of Project Pitlane is a breathing aid developed by engineers at Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP), engineers at University College London (UCL) and clinicians at UCL Hospital (UCLH). The device, known as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), has been used extensively in hospitals in Italy and China to help COVID-19 patients with serious lung infections to breathe more easily, when oxygen alone is insufficient.

Since Wednesday 18th March, engineers at UCL and HPP and clinicians at UCLH have been working round the clock to reverse engineer a device that can be produced rapidly by the thousands. This has now been recommended for use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). 

This breathing aid was produced within a rapid timeframe - it took fewer than 100 hours from the initial meeting to production of the first device. One hundred devices are to be delivered to UCLH for clinical trials, with rapid roll-out to hospitals around the country ahead of the predicted surge in COVID-19 hospital admissions.

Once production is fully ramped up, we expect to be able to produce up to 1,000 CPAP devices per day in Brixworth. Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains will also make the production data available as open source data. This will enable local authorities to coordinate the necessary regulatory and medical approvals and help organisations around the world to start manufacturing CPAP devices quickly and efficiently.

👉 Find out more about the cooperation between UCL, UCLH and Mercedes-AMG Petronas High Performance Powertrains to build CPAP devices  

Daimler AG

The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team is just a small part of the Daimler family which is doing its part to help as well. Our parent company has several projects around the world to help in the current situation.

Daimler has made its machines, know-how, and trained specialists available to produce medical equipment. 3D printers that would normally produce automobile components for Mercedes-Benz cars can now be repurposed.

The company has also donated over 100,000 respiratory protective masks that would usually protect employees in production areas to the state government of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, where the company is headquartered. These masks will now be sent to the points where they are urgently needed: hospitals and doctors’ offices.

In India, Mercedes-Benz is supporting the local authorities in their fight against the pandemic by supporting the setup of a temporary hospital in the town of Chakan, Khed in the Pune District. The facility was developed in record time and allows the medical treatment of up to 1,500 patients of COVID-19. Mercedes-Benz will continue to support the local authorities, for example with medical equipment.

In addition to donations in cash and in kind in a number of countries, Daimler has also decided to “donate” its social media reach. The company reaches more than 50 million followers via its international brand channels alone and is using this reach to share advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

👉 More information about Daimler’s contribution  

PETRONAS

Our title partner PETRONAS, a global energy and solutions company, is contributing RM20 million worth of medical equipment and supplies to help hospitals and healthcare front-liners mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia, through its CSR arm Yayasan PETRONAS.

The contribution will be carried out in stages, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA). MoH and NADMA will be channelling the critical medical equipment and supplies, including ventilators, hospital beds and mattresses, thermal imaging cameras, digital thermometers, virus test kits, masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to gazetted hospitals for COVID-19 and quarantine centres. Hand sanitisers will also be provided to senior citizens at selected homes.

PETRONAS have also extended assistance to Malaysia’s healthcare front-liners through its retail division, PETRONAS Dagangan Berhad (PDB) which donated water and food items to selected hospitals involved in the COVID-19 operations. The company’s integrated chemicals producer PETRONAS Chemicals Group Berhad delivered 250kg of polypropylene to Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) to help the university produce 18,750 face shields to be supplied to 100 government hospitals and clinics nationwide while employees have also rallied their support to donate through various channels.

Additionally, PETRONAS’ international operations are also mobilised to support local efforts in their areas of operation. PETRONAS Lubricants International (PLI), the company’s global lubricants manufacturing and marketing arm, provided fluids for truck fleets involved in the construction of hospitals in Wuhan, China, and for the transportation of essential goods. PLI had also converted its coolant production lines to manufacture ethanol-based liquid and gel sanitisers for hospitals and the local communities in Italy and Brazil. 

Furthermore, in giving all that the company can during the COVID-19 pandemic, PETRONAS is working towards developing a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) prototype. The breathing aid were originally developed by Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team at Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) in collaboration with University College London (UCL) as part of ‘Project Pitlane’, a collective effort of seven Formula One teams to manufacture and deliver respiratory devices in the UK. The device has been approved by the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK and will help save lives by ensuring that ventilators, a limited resource, are used only for the severely ill.

Read more here 👉 PETRONAS’ response to COVID-19

INEOS

INEOS, one of the world’s largest manufacturing companies and the team’s Principal Partner, announced that it will construct four purpose-built plants in the UK, Germany and France within 10 days to produce one million bottles of hand sanitiser per month at each plant. INEOS is providing the hand sanitiser free to hospitals to help meet the needs of front line medical and care services. The hand sanitiser is specifically designed to kill bacteria and viruses and produced according to World Health Organisation specifications. INEOS is the leading European producer of the two key raw materials needed for sanitisers – isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and ethanol, producing almost 1 million tonnes. INEOS is already running these plants flat out and has been diverting more of this product to essential medical use including to the new INEOS factories.

More here 👉 INEOS to build hand sanitiser plant near Middlesbrough in 10 days to make 1 million bottles per month

INEOS’ products are essential to the production of essential healthcare products being used in the fight against COVID-19 from rubber gloves, to PVC saline drips, syringes, ventilators, medical tubing. Its products purify the public’s drinking water. It produces raw materials for soap, phenol for aspirin and paracetamol, and its acetonitrile is being used in pharmaceutical analysis essential in procedures necessary to find a vaccine.

INEOS TEAM UK, Britain’s challenger to the 36th America’s Cup are working with Mercedes-Benz Applied Science (MBAS) to create PPE face shields for key workers in the local area around their team base in Portsmouth. Team INEOS has been involved in the distribution of INEOS’ free hand sanitiser to the NHS, while Geraint Thomas is set to take on his own personal challenge, raising money for the NHS through his ‘NHS Zwift Shifts’. Members of the Team’s medical staff have also been working on the frontline.

UBS

Longstanding team partner UBS, the world’s largest and only truly global wealth manager, is supporting its individual, corporate and institutional clients around the world to provide significant amounts of lending and continues to help its clients make the right financial decisions in unpredictable, fast-changing markets. In Switzerland, UBS is supporting the emergency measures announced by the Federal Council to support Swiss small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in conjunction with other Swiss banks. Through this emergency lending program, UBS is providing liquidity for its clients with an intact business model and enabling the suspension of amortization. So far, UBS has already provided thousands of SMEs with over CHF 2.0 billion in liquidity.

More information can be found here 👉 UBS supports Swiss SME during COVID-19

UBS has also committed USD 30 million to COVID aid projects, which will be used to address the most vulnerable in our communities, support our existing partners, and address front line health and prevention needs around the globe. As part of this, UBS Optimus Foundation has launched a dedicated COVID-19 Response Fund, where all client and employee donations will be doubled by UBS.

UBS is also using its #TOGETHERBAND initiative to raise funds to combat COVID-19. From 24 March until end of April, 100 percent of net proceeds from #TOGETHERBAND purchases will go towards TOGETHER Fund, an initiative started by the Bottletop Foundation to combat COVID-19. Through this fund, 50 percent will be donated to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and Médecins sans Frontières. The other 50 percent will go to life-changing projects that address the UN SDGs and have been carefully selected with the UBS Optimus Foundation. UBS is proud to be the Founding Partner of #TOGETHERBAND.

👉 You can donate money to the TOGETHER fund here

Epson

Epson will apply its original Dry Fiber technology to manufacture face masks for its employees in Japan. Dry Fiber technology, which is also used in Epson's PaperLab A-8000 in-office dry paper making system, is a dry process that has until now been used to turn used paper into new paper inside the office. The masks will be made not from used paper, but from functional fibers and will be manufactured at the company's Kanbayashi and Suwa Minami Plants in Nagano, Japan, where the majority of its domestic employees are located. Epson expects to begin manufacturing the masks from the end of May. The company does not currently plan to manufacture the masks for sale.

These masks respond to growing demand for face masks for protection against the COVID-19. Manufacturing the masks in-house will allow Epson to donate 100,000 surgical masks it had purchased as part of its business continuity plan (BCP) to local authorities and medical institutions in Nagano, where needs for personal protective equipment (PPE) have been expanding rapidly.

The company will also donate 5,600 face shields to the same organizations.

 👉 See here for more information on PaperLab and Dry Fiber technology

Tommy Hilfiger

PVH, the parent company of team partner and premium designer lifestyle group Tommy Hilfiger, is supporting healthcare workers by donating products to their cause. To help out in their need of personal protective equipment, PVH are shipping over 2 million units of isolation gowns and masks to the Montefiore Health System in New York City, where PVH is headquartered. 

PVH is also helping underprivileged and homeless children in its hometown of New York by donating backpacks to help the children who are traveling to pick up their lunch from school.

In addition to donating products, PVH is making financial contributions. The company is committing $1 million to charities at the forefront of COVID-19 relief, including $100,000 to the United Nation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization (WHO). Additionally, PVH are donating $275,000 to the Chinese Society of the Red Cross. In support of their impacted peers from the American fashion community, PVH will contribute $50,000 to A Common Thread by the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.

More information on the steps taken by PVH 👉 PVH Corp. Supports COVID-19 Relief Efforts

IWC

In this period of uncertainty and isolation, the members of the global IWC family are standing together to launch the initiative: "TIME WELL SHARED". Through this initiative, IWC employees, brand ambassadors and partners will share their time, knowledge, experience and passion through digital channels. They aim to inspire people to make the most of their time, and entertain and support them by keeping them connected and engaged. "TIME WELL SHARED" encompasses online lectures, speeches and webinars that IWC will publish on digital channels during the following weeks. The aim is to entertain and support people in these difficult times.

The initiative will include contributions from IWC brand ambassadors and partners including Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1. All contributions are accompanied by a button to make voluntary donations, with IWC making the first donation. With the funds raised, IWC will support Save the Children. Save the Children aims to strengthen its programmes that protect children and families in countries that are hit by the virus, increase support for national health systems, and raise awareness among parents and caregivers on how to provide psychosocial support to children.Another crucial pillar of "TIME WELL SHARED" is a personal volunteering programme via the website Good Tutors Finder, to support schoolchildren and their parents. In their own free time, and on an individual voluntary basis, IWC employees are encouraged to offer online tutoring support for schoolchildren in basic subjects.

For the latest information on “TIME WELL SHARED”, please click 👉 here, here and here

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is a global edge-to-cloud platform-as-a-service company and a team partner. The company has introduced philanthropic initiatives to stabilize communities, support for customers tackling the challenges of this pandemic, and technology to help organizations adapt to this unpreceded situation. For example, HPE has donated $50 million in secure connectivity kits to support pop-up clinics, testing sites and temporary hospitals. These kits help to enable healthcare workers on the front lines of COVID-19.

HPE has created a registry of volunteer network engineers ready to assist in the build-out of network infrastructures for medical facilities addressing the pandemic. HPE is also supporting important work at some of the world’s leading research centers with high-performance computing solutions to enable them to run simulations involving complex data and deep learning workloads to better understand the new COVID-19 strain and develop drug treatments.

HPE Financial Services designated $2 billion in financing, a payment relief program, and other initiatives to help customers and partners address challenges stemming from the Covid-19 crisis. In addition, HPE is encouraging its team members to make financial donations to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the WHO by matching every dollar donated by its team members.

Read more about HPE’s support in the current situation 👉 Hewlett Packard Enterprise COVID-19 Response

CrowdStrike

Cybersecurity technology company and team partner CrowdStrike is helping in the current situation by addressing the massively increased demand to work remotely. The company has created a resource hub to help organisations transition employees to remote workers safely. The hub features the latest threat intelligence briefings, advice on responding to incidents remotely as well as tips and insights into protecting a newly remote workforce.

Visit the CrowdStrike resource hub here 👉 Cybersecurity & Covid-19 Resource Center

CrowdStrike has also launched two new limited time programmes to address challenges introduced by the large numbers of managed and unmanaged devices being used by newly remote workers – Burst Licensing and Falcon Prevent™ for home users.

For corporate-owned devices, CrowdStrike is introducing a Burst Licensing program. This program is designed to ensure that CrowdStrike’s customers can remain nimble and rapidly deploy new systems for remote workers as needed. With Burst Licensing, CrowdStrike customers may extend their existing license counts during the program period at no additional cost. This short-term program eliminates concerns customers may have about licensing their new systems, particularly because these licenses may only be needed for a short period of time.

For employee-owned devices, CrowdStrike is introducing a new program: Falcon Prevent for Home Use. This home-use program allows organizations to provide their employees with a low-cost option for securing their personal computers, so employees who must use a home system to access corporate resources can do so safely and productively

Further information on the programmes can be found here 👉 CrowdStrike Announces Two New Programs to Help Organizations Secure Remote Workers During COVID-19 Crisis

TIBCO

Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team’s partner, TIBCO, specializes in solving complex data problems and is employing its visual analytics and data science solutions to gain timely insights into disparate data sets regarding the spread of COVID-19.

Using TIBCO Spotfire – the same tool used by the team to fine-tune on-track performance – TIBCO’s data scientists have created a set of visual analytic dashboards that allow users to spot insights and draw inference about the future epidemic state from real-time data updates. The inbuilt data science algorithms highlight the impact of preventative measures on the epidemic curves, including testing and social distancing, plus the ongoing risks and progression of the hotspots. Users can drill into case and fatality trajectories, track local outbreaks, and estimate the COVID-19 virus transmission in local regions.

Using Spotfire Geoanalytics, TIBCO has created regional and county-level maps showing real-time visual analytics on COVID-19 cases. Along with data on hospitals and non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), the company is working with partners to predict the availability of required hospital resources (ventilators, for example) across states and regions. TIBCO can layer PPE data into this by geographic locations. This can provide critical insights in manufacturing and equipment supply chains for healthcare facilities across the world.

To see TIBCO’s COVID-19 visual analytics, visit 👉 www.tibco.com/covid19

The information is assembled with TIBCO's healthcare partners, and along with global statistical data, is used to create real-time visual analytics updates of worldwide and local views.

👉 To learn more about the COVID-19 Insights from the TIBCO Data Science Team, read this article on the TIBCO blog  

AMD

Global high-performance computing and graphics leader and new team partner AMD is working diligently to combat the pandemic by applying its technology and resources in the fight and supporting its communities in this time of uncertainty and need.

The company is putting its high-performance technology to work to help the world’s researchers in their efforts to better understand and find a cure for the virus.

AMD launched a COVID-19 HPC fund for research institutions with an initial investment of $15 million USD of supercomputing systems powered by AMD EPYC™ CPUs and AMD Radeon™ Instinct GPUs to accelerate medical research on COVID-19 and other diseases. Research institutions can contact AMD at COVID-19HPC@amd.com to submit proposals.

Additionally, AMD joined the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, working alongside other government, industry, and university leaders to volunteer free compute time and resources on world-class supercomputers to help fight the global pandemic. AMD technology and technical resource contributions provide a significant increase in the compute power for COVID-19 research. Research proposals can be submitted for evaluation via the consortium’s online portal.

In addition to technological contributions, AMD is also actively helping its global communities through monetary contributions, personal protective equipment donations, an employee gift matching program and by prioritizing and expediting product shipments for AMD processors used in medical devices including ventilators and respirators.

👉 More information on how AMD is responding to COVID-19 is available here  Shared Resilience: AMD Response to COVID-19

Endless

Team supplier Endless Brake Technology Europe AB, based outside Västerås, Sweden, has also joined the fight against COVID-19. The company has reassigned its prototype 3D printer to make brims for healthcare face shields. These shields are currently being tested in a local municipality in areas like home care service and geriatric care. 

With elderly people being the largest risk group in danger of COVID-19, the spread of the disease has unfortunately been especially difficult for Swedish geriatric care. Even with a relatively small desktop printer Endless does its share of helping out - based on the Swedish saying that "nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something".