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F1 Rewind: The last time Ferrari were World Champions

rehaan díaz
ANALYST
Feature
138   //    Timeless

The cars driven by Massa and Raikkonen gave Ferrari their 2008 title
The cars driven by Massa and Raikkonen gave Ferrari their 2008 title

The richest team in Formula 1, Ferrari, have now clocked 10 years without being world constructor's champions. The surfeit of resources that the Italian marquee side have is second to none, but title success has eluded them for a long while with Red Bull and Mercedes winning them on the trot in the 2010s and shutting off any chances for them.

In 2008, defending driver's champion Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa were driving the F2008 and won eight races between them, with Massa (six wins) challenging Lewis Hamilton (five wins) and losing the title on the last corner of the last lap of his home race, the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The Ferrari-McLaren dogfight was only interrupted briefly late into the season with a resurgent Renault and Fernando Alonso. Only two pole positions from 18 races and four race wins didn't go to either Ferrari or McLaren. While McLaren's Hamilton nicked the driver's championship, his team-mate Heikki Kovalainen under-performed and won in just Hungary. This helped the scarlet team win the season with a bit more ease, and proved to be the last instance of them building the class-of-the-field car before 2018.

Felipe Massa started as the number 2 driver for Ferrari but won the most (six) races
Felipe Massa started as the number 2 driver for Ferrari but won the most (six) races

New rules meant that traction control and launch control were banned and it was also the last year of grooved tyres being used. For the constructor's championship, an engine usage limitation was imposed with every engine change incurring a 10-place grid penalty. There were a lot of ramifications of the 2008 global economic crisis, with Honda leaving the sport while Honda customers Super Aguri folding after just four races.

It was also the year of another scandal being unearthed with Renault's Crashgate at the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix following 2007's Spygate controversy involving McLaren and Ferrari and the sport at the cusp of a major rule overhaul for 2009.

At the end of the year though, while Ferrari won (for now 16th) their latest world title, the perennially political Maranello was not a settled camp - with rumours of Kimi Raikkonen's position in the team appearing shakier and Alonso signing a pre-contract to drive for them.

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