In order to win the race against time and have the required number of CPAP machines ready before the expected increase in COVID 19 cases, Ben called Andy Cowell and asked if he could get some of his team involved in the project. Andy asked: "When?" And Ben replied: "In about two hours!" Along with three colleagues, Ben immediately began to size up and carefully study a CPAP device. At the same time, Andy organised the purchase of a similar device on ebay so that it could be examined concurrently in the factory at Brixworth.
Ben explains: "I think we worked until about five in the morning and then got up again at seven, and we did that for three days in a row. I can honestly say that I've never worked so hard, not even in Formula One. Working in F1 is quite an intense and stressful job, but I have always managed the stress by telling myself, it's only racing cars. When you're working on something that can potentially save lives, there's not a thing that can alleviate the stress, so I pushed myself really hard."
The effort paid off. The devices were developed, produced and distributed to NHS hospitals in record time. In the end, the government ordered 10,000 of the CPAP devices built at Mercedes-AMG HPP's technology centre in Brixworth. In the process, no less than 40 machines were used that normally produce F1 pistons and turbochargers. The details required by other manufacturers to make the devices are now available to download free of charge in countries all over the world.