Designed during Scuderia Ferrari’s ’golden era’, the F2002 was one of the most successful Formula One cars in history, claiming fifteen victories in its nineteen races across the 2002 and 2003 seasons. It is said that you cannot rush perfection, and it is widely argued that the car came very close to perfection, despite its late debut in the third race of the 2002 season. Once introduced, the F2002’s dominance was unrivalled. The car, piloted by four-time and reigning world champion Michael Schumacher and Brazilian teammate Rubens Barrichello, accumulated many accolades during its run, amassing the same number of Constructors’ Championship points (221) for the Scuderia Ferrari team as the accumulated points of all the ten remaining teams by the end of the 2002 season.
Unveiled in February 2002, the F2002 was Ferrari’s forty-eighth single seater created for the FIA Formula 1 World Championship®. Pre-season testing revealed the enormous potential of the new car, breaking the Maranello track record by more than a second at its first attempt. Nonetheless, the car would not be used in the first three races, due to possible reliability problems. The chassis was completely new, both in terms of shape, thanks to the team’s aerodynamic development programme, and in terms of construction, which resulted in a considerable weight saving. The suspension and steering system also underwent a major revision to comply with the 2002 regulations. On the drivetrain side, Ferrari designed the typo 051 engine, delivering more power and higher maximum revs. The package was revised in which the crankshaft was lowered, resulting in an overall weight and dimension reduction. Whilst this new compact design allowed for a critical increase in the car’s aerodynamic efficiency at the rear, the extent of the gearbox’s redesign, a completely new assembly both in terms of the materials used for the casing and the major internal parts as well as the gear selection mechanism itself, caused significant delays with the schedule and failed to represent the same performance gains as the mechanical engineering initially. Ferrari chose to continue working on the design, delaying the F2002’s entrance until the third round in Brazil, using the previous year’s F2001 chassis, albeit with many alterations. Only one chassis was initially available, which was given to lead driver Schumacher, and so Barrichello had to wait until round four in San Marino to race behind the wheel of the F2002.
What followed was a season of domination, the likes of which had not been seen since the 1988 season. With the F2002, Schumacher scored nine more victories to add to his previous two in the F2001, his total of eleven wins setting a record for a single driver in a season, while Rubens Barrichello scored four. Ferrari’s fifteen victories as a team equalled the record of McLaren’s 1988 season, whilst the win percentage of 88.2% still stands as the third highest ever. Schumacher finished every race on the podium for the whole 2002 season, never finishing lower than second with the F2002. The only race that the car failed to win was at Monaco in round seven, losing out to the McLaren-Mercedes of David Coulthard, while the F2001 did not take the Malaysian GP. The German won the World Championship in record time (at least in the modern era), clinching the title at the eleventh race of the season in France in July. The two Ferrari drivers were comfortably first and second in the Drivers' Championship. The F2002 (renamed the F2002B) was still competitive at the beginning of 2003, a testament to the strength of the chassis, and Schumacher took the car's last win in the San Marino Grand Prix before it was replaced by the F2003-GA for the next race.
Overall, the Ferrari F2002 earned 15 wins, 13 further podiums, 11 pole positions and 15 fastest laps, gaining 239 points over the course of its nineteen-race lifespan during the 2002 and 2003 seasons. It won both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships outright in 2002, whilst the 32 points earned in 2003 played a key role in deciding the titles that year too; Ferrari only claimed the Constructors’ crown by fourteen points, whilst the gap between Schumacher and his closest rival was just two points.
This fine 1:8 scale model is an exact replica of the #1 car driven to Scuderia Ferrari’s 150th Formula 1 victory by Michael Schumacher at the Canadian Grand Prix held on the 9th of June 2002 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. While Williams-BMW’s Juan Pablo Montoya claimed pole position, Michael Schumacher was still a clear favourite for the win, having won five of the previous seven races. Montoya aced the getaway and settled into the lead, whilst Schumacher lost out to teammate Barrichello and dropped to third. Montoya’s efforts to break away on the opening lap were in vain as he locked up at the final chicane and ran wide, gifting the lead to Barrichello. The #2 Ferrari would go on to build an advantage, although Barichello’s main race strategy was in tatters by lap 15, as the BAR-Honda of Jacques Villeneuve suffered engine failure leaving him stranded on the track and causing the safety car to be called upon. Montoya took the opportunity to pit, re-joining in fifth as the Ferraris both stayed out, using his fresh tyres to gain ground on the Ferraris as they waited to make their stops. Schumacher finally made his stop on lap 38, emerging three seconds behind Montoya who was yet to pit for a second time. Montoya would not get the chance to challenge Schumacher for the lead, however, as his engine failed soon after his second stop, allowing the #1 Ferrari to cruise around for the remaining fourteen laps onto a famous milestone for the team in red. It was Schumacher’s 59th career win.
The Ferrari F2002 is limited to just 50 pieces.
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