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F1 Know-How Helping to Power Adam’s LEJOG Challenge

The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team recently took on a project with Adam Stanton-Wharmby, a powered wheelchair user with cerebral palsy. Adam has set himself the incredible challenge of reaching John O'Groats from Lands' End using just his wheelchair to raise awareness regarding the issues faced for powered wheelchair users on major navigation platforms. To undertake such a challenging journey however, his equipment would need an upgrade.

Adam sought help through a nationwide charity called 'Remap' who provide voluntary engineering support to solve disability equipment problems. From there, Adam was contacted by an Electrical Engineer who previously modified his wheelchair and Grid 4 Good; an organisation who harness expertise and resource across the motorsport industry to meet the needs of worthy causes. Grid 4 Good contacted some engineers from the Mercedes F1 Team to assess if there might be potential for improvements to Adam's chair.

Inspired by the challenge, engineers at the Team identified several key areas of optimisation for Adam's chair including seating position, battery range and weight. Over the last year, the Team set about switching Adam's existing battery pack for a Lithium-ion alternative, serviced all motors and gearboxes, and removed over 70kg of weight through intelligent design. The addition of a new head rest, front and rear lights, and the installation of new leg supports transformed Adam's wheelchair into a vehicle capable of the 1000-mile journey.

As an avid Formula One fan, Adam is delighted with his upgraded wheelchair that allows new speeds and a more comfortable journey. He commented: "The support from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team and the engineers who have modified and upgraded my powered wheelchair has been incredible. Having the opportunity to work with the Team and have their expertise has been one of those wow moments in my life.

"Every time I get into the chair, I have a huge smile on my face and still can't believe that Mercedes F1, a team I've been supporting since they joined Formula One, has modified my wheelchair for me. I hope to do the team proud by breaking the record for travelling from Lands' End to John O'Groats. I'm excited about the future of powered wheelchairs and what they could be capable of."

Mark, a member of our team who worked closely on the project, added: "This project has been something completely different to the norm for the Technology Engineering Group, but very enjoyable to work on, and the overjoyed look on Adam's face when we delivered the wheelchair to him made it all worthwhile. We wish him the best of luck on his adventure!"

If you would like to find more about Adam's journey, click here to his JustGiving Page.