Ferrari’s Maranello factory has begun producing valves and fittings for protective masks, which will be supplied to Italian health workers.

The thermoplastic components are one part of a multi-company collaboration across industries to produce the masks.

Italy is the country that’s been worst hit in Europe in terms of fatalities, with latest figures estimating over 22000 Italians have died after contracting COVID-19. That figure puts it second in the world behind only the USA, while it has had approximately 170000 total confirmed cases.

The masks carrying Ferrari components are to be distributed in hospitals across the country, including in Genoa and Sassuolo, with the team hoping to produce several hundred pieces of equipment over the next few days.

The project has buy-in from multiple manufacturers, with Ferrari producing the valves at its Maranello plant which is usually used to produce prototype vehicles. Some of the valves were developed by Rapallo-based diving equipment manufacturer Mares, while the project’s logistics have been managed by Nuovamacut Gruppo TeamSystem, who have been helping to coordinate research across the different companies involved.

Meanwhile Solid Energy will be turning snorkel masks from Decathlon into suitable respiration aids while also producing some of the fittings required.

In March, Ferrari shut down production at its Italian F1 and road car factories, along with Lamborghini (both are owned by Fiat).

The coronavirus pandemic has postponed the start of the season, now thought to be the Austrian Grand Prix at the start of July as the French GP at Circuit Paul Ricard looks set to be postponed.

With uncertainty over the return to racing, F1 teams have thrown themselves into the challenge of helping deal with Covid-19. Project Pitlane has all seven UK-based teams producing ventilators, while Mercedes have also worked with UCL to develop breathing aids which are being manufactured in its Brixworth engine facility.

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