Ferrari F2008 - The End of an Era for the Maranello-based Team
The Ferrari F2008 was the 54th single-seater built by the Maranello-based team specifically for the Formula 1 World Championship and the last car which won the title for Scuderia Ferrari.
By many, this car is considered as one of the most beautiful in the history of Formula 1. However, it wasn’t as successful as some of its predecessors but still was good enough to bring the 16th Constructors’ Championship title to Ferrari. As of the end of 2016, that title won in 2008 is the last so far for the most popular F1 team.
Video – Ferrari F2008 launch
Built under the new regulations
The team consisted of Mario Almondo (Director of Operations), Gilles Simon (Chief Engineer), Aldo Costa (Technical Director), and Nicholas Tombazis (Chief Designer) had a lot of work to do before the start of 2008 season. A major new element of the new regulations was the introduction of an electronic system known as SECU (Standard Electronic Control Unit). Other areas affected by the new regulations were gearbox, which had to be used for four consecutive events; safety – the higher side protection around the driver’s helmet was introduced; and finally materials – type and amount of the composite materials was limited what resulted with increased weight of the car.
The aerodynamic package was completely revised, the monocoque was cut away under the driver’s legs while the side pods and engine cover were more tapered. Driver aids like traction control and engine breaking, as well as the electronically assisted starting system were removed. The management of the differential, engine, and gear change became somewhat easier.
Unchanged driver line-up
The driver line-up remained the same like in the previous season. The reigning champion Kimi Raikkonen was partnered with Felipe Massa and the ambitions were high, especially after the strong start of the campaign. The Ferrari F2008 won four of the opening five races – Raikkonen triumphed in Malaysia and Spain, while Massa was the winner in Bahrain and Turkey.
After having modest results in Monaco and in the Canadian Grand Prix, Ferrari F2008 in the French Grand Prix scored the only 1-2 finish of the season, with Massa on the top of the podium. The British Grand Prix was a bit disappointing for the team, so after the first half of the season Massa and Raikkonen shared the leading position in the standings with the McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton. At the same time, Ferrari had a solid 14-points advantage to Sauber in the Constructors’ Championship.
Massa missed the title by a single point
Interestingly, defending champion failed to score a single win in the second half of the campaign. His best results were the 3rd positions in the races at Hungaroring, Suzuka, Shanghai, and Interlagos. His form was in decline as he failed to score in three races what was a big disappointment. Luckily, Massa’s form was much better. The Brazilian triumphed at Valencia Street Circuit, Spa, and Interlagos, and finished 2nd in the Chinese Grand Prix. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for the title. Massa in his best-ever season finished as a runner-up to Lewis Hamilton, having just one point less than the British driver. However, Ferrari won another Constructors’ Championship title, having 21 points more than the 2nd-placed McLaren.
What do the numbers say?
During the season of 2008, the Ferrari F2008 won 8 out of 18 races and had a total of 19 podiums. Massa started from pole position in six races while his teammate was fastest in qualifying on two occasions. Interestingly, Kimi had 10 fastest laps over the season while Felipe Massa had three fastest laps. That was the end of an era during which Ferrari was the most dominant force and the Italian team had to wait a long time until the next title.
Ferrari F2008 technical specifications
|Chassis||Carbon fiber and honeycomb composite monocoque|
|Suspension (front & rear)||Double wishbones, push-rod actuated torsion bars|
|Engine||Ferrari 056, 2.398 cc, V8 90°, mid-engine, longitudinally mounted, naturally aspirated|
|Gearbox||Ferrari 7 speeds + reverse, Semiautomatic sequential, electronically controlled, longitudinal gearbox, quick-shift Limited-slip differential|
|Brakes||Ventilated carbon ceramic discs, all-round|
|Weight||605 kg (with water, lubricant and driver)|