Ferrari's reveals details of low-cost Covid-19 ventilator

Ferrari has released images of the ventilator it has produced with the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), which can be built from scratch in five weeks to help Covid-19 patients.

The design of the ventilator, named FI5, has been released to the public for anyone to produce across the world.

Ferrari answered IIT’s call to produce ventilators to help ease the burden on the Italian health service at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Ferrari describes FI5 — with initials for Ferrari, IIT and the amount of time it takes to produce — as “reliable, versatile, easy to use and assemble ventilator”, which uses easily-available materials in a bid to make it as cost-effective as possible to produce on mass.

The first FI5 prototype was assembled last week at IIT’s Genoa headquarters and it passed its preliminary functionality tests. Ferrari says Italian, Mexican and U.S. companies have already been in contact to start the process of producing them.

The project was spearheaded by the Scuderia working group, headed by Ferrari’s head of chassis engineering, Simone Resta, and F1 innovation manager Corrado Onorato. Ferrari’s GT department also aided the project, while IIT put together its own research and engineering team to work in tandem.

Ferrari said the project highlighted “the creativity, quick reaction times and know-how that are part of the DNA of a Formula 1 team like the Scuderia”. The company has also donated €10 million in support of Italian Civil Protection Department.

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto said: “The challenge of COVID-19 was one we wanted to take on. FI5 is the contribution we made as the Scuderia, fielding the very essence of what makes a Formula 1 team and more importantly, all the characteristics that make Ferrari special; its passion, its creativity and its desire to improve.

“This project was a very stimulating experience as well as being truly rewarding for all those involved, who worked side by side with our colleagues from IIT and the other partners. It is initiatives like these that make #essereFerrari, not just a slogan but a distinctive feature of our identity.”

Motor racing’s governing body, the FIA, has granted teams permission to use locked down facilities for work related to the ongoing pandemic. Mercedes and University College London reverse-engineered a device for mass production, while F1 teams united in an initiative called ‘Project Pitlane’ to support health organisations across the world.

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