Ferrari F2002 - One of the Best Ever
Ferrari F2002 won both Drivers’ and Constructors’ Formula 1 World Championship titles and was one of the most dominant cars in the history of the series.
New car, same ambitions
Technical director Ross Brawn, chassis designer Rory Byrne, and engine designer Paolo Martinelli again did an excellent job creating the Ferrari F2002. It is much lighter than its predecessor, has a very low center of gravity, and it is easy to handle. The new engine probably isn’t the mightiest engine in the championship but it is perfectly packed – very compact, light, and fuel efficient.
This car wasn’t just modified and improved version of the previous F2001 model. The Ferrari F2002 was a completely new car with many new technologies that weren’t seen before. Visually, this car followed the Ferrari’s design principles but inside was completely redesigned, all with an aim to have even better performances than its predecessor.
New gearbox was the main change
The main change was a completely new gearbox which allowed great advancement when it comes to aerodynamic efficiency. Surprisingly, a new gearbox had such a big effect at a redesign that the car wasn’t ready for the start of the season, so the modified F2001 was used in the opening two rounds of the 2002 season.
The F2002 changed that part of exhaust history again, now pushing air out a little further away from the rear wing, but more importantly, backwards, and not upwards like in 2001. The exhaust pipe was covered with bodywork that also functioned as an air exit which enabled more efficient cooling in the side pods.
What a debut for the Ferrari F2002
After missing the opening two rounds of the season, the new car debuted in the Brazilian Grand Prix. Actually, only one car was ready for the race. Michael Schumacher drove it to the victory, while Rubens Barrichello retired driving an F2001.
In the next three races, Schumacher scored other three wins. At Imola and Spielberg the team scored 1-2 finishes after Barrichello was 2nd, but the Brazilian driver retired from the race in Barcelona. After the first third of the season, Schumacher topped the standings with twice as many points than his nearest rival Juan Pablo Montoya.
Schumacher was almost unstoppable
Michael’s winning streak was ended in Monaco Grand Prix where he finished 2nd, behind David Coulthard. He recovered by winning the race in Canada, while Barrichello was 3rd in that race. In the European Grand Prix at Nurburgring, the Brazilian driver of Ferrari F2002 scored his first win of the season, leaving his teammate in the 2nd place. The two drivers switched roles in the next race at Silverstone – Schumacher was the winner and Barrichello was a runner-up.
Schumacher easily won the following race in France and six races before the end of the season secured another title. The next race was in Germany and he scored another win but that wasn’t the end of the marvelous season for Ferrari.
Brilliant end of the year
The last five rounds of the season were marked by a total dominance of Ferrari cars. The Brazilian was the winner in Hungary, Italy, and in the US, while the German driver triumphed in Belgium and Japan.
Schumacher was crowned as a champion, with 144 points on his account, while Barrichello ended the season as a runner-up with 77 points. In the Constructors’ championship, Ferrari won the title with an advantage of 129 points to the 2nd-placed Williams.
Ferrari F2002B started a new season
Whilst still developing a new Ferrari F2003-GA, Scuderia began the new F1 season with a slightly modified F2002. The Ferrari F2002B was still competitive enough, so Schumacher won the race at Imola, while Rubens was 2nd in Malaysia and 3rd at Imola. That was the end of F2002.
What do the numbers say?
The F2002 was probably the best F1 car designed by Ferrari and the numbers are just confirming that. The Ferrari F2002 raced in 19 events and scored 15 wins, a total of 28 podiums, 11 pole positions, and 15 fastest laps, amassing a total of 239 points.
Ferrari F2002 technical specifications
Length: 4495 mm
Width: 1796 mm
Height: 959 mm
Weight: 600 kg
Chassis: Moulded carbon fiber and honeycomb composite structure monocoque
Suspension (front & rear): Double wishbones, pushrod activated torsion springs
Engine: Ferrari Tipo 051 V10 90° 3.0 l, 2.997 cc, mid-longitudinally mounted, naturally aspirated
Power: 820 – 900 hp (610 – 670 KW) at 19.000 RPM
Brakes: ventilated carbon fiber discs
Transmission: Semi-automatic 7-speed forward + 1 reverse