Mercedes GP team boss Ross Brawn has helped a young Formula 1 fan to achieve his dream of being fitted with a new bionic hand.

Teenager Matthew James was born without a left hand and had been forced to use a bionic version which was akin to a claw with a simple open and close mechanism.

The 14-year-old had been keen to replace the device with a more sophisticated model but had been unable to raise the ?30,000 needed given that his chosen hand - featuring a number of motors to allow movement to individual fingers - isn't available on the NHS.

Having met Brawn when the F1 team boss made a visit to his school, James wrote to the team principal to ask for help and offered to have his hand sponsored by Mercedes.

After being invited to visit Mercedes' Brackley base, a team member got in touch with Scottish firm Touch Bionics with agreement being reached to share technology used in both the arm and in F1 machinery.

The fee to fit the hand and train the teenager to use it was waived and Mercedes is helping to fund-raise the rest of the money needed, with the arm having been fitted last week.

"Matthew's letter to the team was very touching," Brawn told the BBC. "Meeting Matthew, and hearing first hand how the new device would improve his quality of life, was a pleasure and I am delighted that our initial contact has now led to such a positive conclusion."


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