Felipe Massa, runner-up in the 2008 Formula 1 driver’s championship, is trying to get back the title he held for all of 30 seconds at that year’s chaotic season finale in Brazil. He’s arguing that the result of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, which saw Nelson Piquet Jr deliberately crash to bring out a fortuitous safety car, leading to the bodged pit stop by Ferrari that ultimately led to Massa’s retirement, should be annulled given that the race was rigged. So that would mean Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 champion, wouldn’t have bagged the points for a third-place finish, Massa would be victorious and social media would spiral into chaos once more.
But, to quote Massa’s former race engineer: “Felipe, baby, stay cool.” The 11-time race winner did in fact bag a championship in 2008, just not the one he wanted. Together with teammate Kimi Raikkonen, the two managed to secure enough points over the season to nab the constructors’ title for Ferrari. Little solace for losing the driver’s title after the flag had dropped - and nor did it provide Hamilton with much comfort in Abu Dhabi 2021 - but bringing home the team trophy for Maranello is something that no Ferrari pairing has managed to do since.
Aside from one of its mechanics punching a garage wall on live TV, Ferrari was rather chuffed that it had secured back-to-back constructors’ titles, so much so that it released a drop-top version of the 430 Scuderia to mark the occasion. Obviously, Ferrari was always going to release a roofless version of the Scud, but now with 16 manufacturer titles to its name – and a willingness to put a positive spin on a painful result – the model was (presumably) swiftly rebadged as the Scuderia Spider 16M ahead of its release in early 2009.
Not only was the 16M far more exclusive than the coupe, with production capped at 499 units, it was the first track-focused, mid-engined Ferrari V8 to be offered without a top. Naturally, body strengthening would be needed to claw back the rigidity lost by ditching the roof, making it a touch heavier than the regular Scuderia, though titanium springs and new double wishbone suspension meant it was an impressive 80kg lighter than the base F430 Spider. The engine, meanwhile, was the same 510hp, 4.3-litre V8 as the standard Scud, albeit with a higher compression ratio courtesy of upgraded pistons.
That, according to some reviewers, resulted in a snappier throttle response compared to the coupe, though others argue the two were nearly indistinguishable – which is to say mind-blowing on pretty much every level. The 430 Scuderia is perhaps a smidgen underrated, given that it was sandwiched between the game-changing 360 Challenge Stradale and the extraordinary 458 Speciale, but the Scud was every bit the stand-out track car that its predecessor and successor were. The fact the Spider could match it, without a roof, just shows how special the 16M was.
Just like the follow-up Aperta variants, the 16M’s exclusivity means you’ll be paying a good £100,000-£200,000 more than the coupe. In the case of this 3,000-mile car here, that translates to a price tag of £389,850. Still, that’s a way off the near-million-pound asking price of the follow-up 458 Aperta, and that doesn’t even come with special badges celebrating Ferrari’s F1 achievements. Who knows, maybe the track-focused 296 GTS will be called the ‘Massa’ if he successfully changes the 2008 championship order. You heard it here first...
SPECIFICATION | FERRARI 430 SCUDERIA SPIDER 16M
Engine: 4,309cc V8
Transmission: six-speed automated manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 510@8,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 346@5,250rpm
Year registered: 2009
Recorded mileage: 3,000
Price new: £198,524
Yours for: £389,840
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