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.