Ferrari F138 - Chinese GP (2013)
Built for the 2013 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, the Ferrari F138 was the last Scuderia Ferrari V8-powered Formula 1 car before the sport’s move towards hybrid power units. In the hands of Spaniard Fernando Alonso and Brazilian racer Felipe Massa, in their fourth and eighth seasons with the team respectively, the F138 was a race winner, despite a season dominated by the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel.
The car was the fifty ninth car built by Ferrari and was a direct evolution of the previous season’s triple-race winning F2012. The F138 name comes highlights the year competition (13) and honours the number of cylinders (8), marking the fact that this is the eighth and final year of competition for the V8 engine configuration. The team split its engineers, some working on the future hybrid-powered car for the 2014 season, whilst the others reworked every aspect of the F2012 to optimise efficiency and maximise performance for its successor. The bodywork was redesigned to allow for changes to the positioning and layout of the exhausts, whilst the dynamic air intake mounted above the cockpit and side pod intakes were also updated to optimise aerodynamics. The rear of the car is much narrower and more tapered on the lower part than its predecessor. The front and rear wings of the car were a continued development from the end of the previous season, whereas the drag reduction system on the rear wing was revised to make the most of the modifications to the Sporting Regulations. There were also detailed changes to the design of the brake ducts.
The F138 performed well in winter testing, suggesting that the car was even more competitive than its forerunner, and the season started in a similar vein as Alonso took second position at the opening Australian Grand Prix. Though never managing to gain pole position against the seemingly faster Red Bull and Mercedes, Alonso and Massa consistently qualified in the top six twice during the seven races of the season, only missing out when Massa crashed in FP3 in Monaco and again in Q2 in Canada. Ferrari’s early race pace was strong and this was evident in those early races when Alonso scored two race wins: first in China, after a superb drive from fifth on the grid, and then at his home race in Spain, after a bold strategy call to make four pit stops. Massa finished third in Spain too, giving Ferrari what would be their best result of the season and the Brazilian his only podium.
Ferrari remained competitive for the rest of the season, scoring points at every round, and Alonso would earn six more podiums in Canada, Great Britain, Belgium, Italy, Singapore and Brazil. The Spaniard’s results kept him in a strong championship position throughout the season but a retirement in Malaysia and relatively poor results in Bahrain, Monaco, Korea and India ensured a title fight with the seemingly unstoppable Sebastian Vettel was over with three races to spare. He ultimately finished second with 242 points. Massa finished eighth in the standings, scoring 112 points. It was to be the last season for the Brazilian at Ferrari. The Italians lost second place in the Constructors' Championship to Mercedes, finishing just six points behind.
Overall, the Ferrari F138 earned two wins, eight further podiums and two fastest laps, scoring 354 Constructors’ Championship points.
This fine 1:12 scale model is of the Ferrari F138 as raced by Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa in the Formula 1 UBS Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit on the 14th of April 2013. Alonso qualified third, whilst Massa earned fifth on the grid after qualification. A quick launch from the duo saw them leap into second and third as the slow-starting Kimi Räikkönen in second held up the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg in fourth. On lap four, both drivers passed the leading car of Lewis Hamilton on the approach and into the first corner. A flood of early pit stops was triggered by heavy tyre degradation on laps six and seven, causing chaos in the pit lane. The two Ferraris navigated the madness safely and maintained their lead after the first round of stops was complete. Massa pitted on lap 19 and Alonso on lap 23, allowing Sebastian Vettel to take the lead of the race. Alonso immediately set the fastest lap of the race, and to rein in the German. Vettel, on a different strategy was told on the radio to not resist an attack by Alonso. On lap 28, Alonso seized the lead from Vettel. Massa, who had struggled to maintain the pace after his first pit stop, took his final stop on lap 35. Alonso pitted for the last time on lap 41 and cruised to the chequered flag to secure his 31st Grand Prix victory on his 200th Grand Prix start. He crossed the line ten seconds ahead of Räikkönen in second. Massa finished sixth 40.827 seconds behind his teammate.
This model has been handcrafted utilising the original CAD data supplied directly by Ferrari GES and has undergone strict scrutiny by both the design and engineering teams to ensure complete accuracy.