Motorsport Heroes
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Motorsport Heroes

Motorsport Heroes: The Ferrari that made Massa F1 champ for 38s

In Motorsport Heroes, the full-length feature film by Manish Pandey now available on Motorsport.tv, four legends of our sport share their life stories. Here, we look at the machinery that almost powered Felipe Massa to the 2008 world title.

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In the film, Massa relives some of the greatest and worst moments of his career throughout this documentary, including his experiences in the F2008 (below).

Ferrari F2008 (659) 2008 side view

Ferrari F2008 (659) 2008 side view

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Massa was world champion for 38 seconds, for when he crossed the finish line to win the Brazilian GP he had done all he could to secure the 2008 crown. Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton, his championship challenger, lay in sixth place, needing at least a fifth-place finish.

“Is that Glock, going slowly?!” – Martin Brundle, F1 commentator 

Those famous words will forever be intertwined with the significance and emotion of that moment, as Massa’s team, family and the Brazilian crowd came to the realisation that fourth-placed Timo Glock was struggling to keep his Toyota on the track. As they tip-toed around the final corners of the drenched Interlagos track not only had Vettel passed Glock, but so too had Hamilton. With that pass, the Briton became the 2008 world champion instead. 

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren MP4-23 Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren MP4-23 Mercedes

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

While Massa fell just short of his target, the F2008 did prove to be enough for Ferrari to win the constructors’ championship that year. 

This last multi-winglet generation of cars, before the more vanilla ruleset arrived in 2009, are considered to be some of the most complex to have ever raced in Formula 1. They were created at a point when F1 was under immense pressure to restrict its operations and reduce the financial burden that unrestricted development was having.

Ferrari F2008 (659) 2008 exploded detail view

Ferrari F2008 (659) 2008 exploded detail view

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

2008 became a gateway year, with track testing mileage already restricted, further limitations were imposed on CFD and windtunnel usage, readying the teams for even harsher restrictions thereafter. The standard ECU was also introduced for 2008, a measure installed by the FIA to prevent any prohibited systems being concealed within the teams own management systems.

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The F2008 carried its predecessor’s genes, featuring many of its design cues but optimising them even further.

So let's take a look by clicking on the arrows below to scroll through the images...

Ferrari F2008 (659) 2008 front wing and nose
Ferrari F2008 (659) 2008 front wing and nose
1/7
The bridge wing was fully absorbed into the nose design, rather than simply being attached to it.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari F2008
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari F2008
2/7
The car also featured a refinement of the static wheel covers that had been introduced at the front of the car in 2007.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Ferrari F2007 (658) 2007 wheel cover airflow
Ferrari F2007 (658) 2007 wheel cover airflow
3/7
Ferrari claimed the covers helped with brake cooling but everyone knew this to be a charade, as while it helped to focus the hot air’s path, the design had more of an aerodynamic advantage, with the wake created by the front tyre altered by the airflow’s path.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Felipe Massa, Ferrari 248
Felipe Massa, Ferrari 248
4/7
The front wheel covers really emerged as a development of the more simplistic design used at the rear of the car in 2006.

Photo by: Sutton Images

Ferrari F2008 (659) 2008 Barcelona S-duct airflow
Ferrari F2008 (659) 2008 Barcelona S-duct airflow
5/7
The F2008 is really the grandfather of the ‘S’-duct solutions we see on the grid today, as Ferrari looked to capture flow on the underside of the nose and transmit it to the upper surface.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari F2008 (659) 2008 nose with S-duct detail
Ferrari F2008 (659) 2008 nose with S-duct detail
6/7
This view from the underside of the nose shows how the airflow is captured by the large opening.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari F2008 (659) 2008 S-duct detail
Ferrari F2008 (659) 2008 S-duct detail
7/7
This top view shows how the designers created two openings in the nose to introduce airflow at different intervals.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola


Motorsport Heroes is available on Motorsport.tv. Written and directed by Manish Pandey, who wrote the multi award-winning Senna movie, the 111-minute film interweaves the narratives of our heroes, telling their stories with both archive and first-hand testimony.

To watch the film, subscribe to Motorsport.tv from $4.99/€4.50/£3.99 a month.

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