For the past few days, all we’ve heard about Ferrari’s Formula 1 team is mostly talk—and the eventual confirmation—of Sebastian Vettel’s departure come the end of 2020, and speculation as to who would take up his seat in 2021. That’s not the only thing that’s been keeping the Scuderia busy, though: The past five weeks, it’s been quietly working on a pulmonary ventilator in partnership with the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT).
The ventilator, codenamed FI5, is designed for medium intensive care use and may be built using easily available materials at a far lower cost versus comparable equipment. Scuderia Ferrari’s chassis engineering head Simone Resta and F1 innovation manager Corrado Onorato were directly involved in the project, along with members from the Italian marque’s racing division and GT department. They were in charge of the CAD design work, while the IIT took care of sourcing materials, designing the electronics, firmware, control software, and wiring system.
Last week, the FI5’s first prototype successfully completed all functionality tests. Further developments to the design are currently being studied, but already, the ventilator’s technical specs, drawings, firmware, software, and list of components have been made available as an open-source project, so that it may be produced by other interested companies.
“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,” said Mattia Binotto, Scuderia Ferrari’s team principal.
“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.”