The 2019 season marked the return of the famed Alfa Romeo badge to Formula 1. In addition the team, formerly known as Sauber, also snapped up the services of 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen for the 2019 and 2020 F1 seasons.
There are many ways to commemorate F1 seasons of which one of them is laying your hands on one, or more, of the range of 1:18 scale models released every year. The 2019 Alfa Romeo may not have set the world alight on track but the model produced by Spark will undoubtedly upscale any collection.
The deep-red and white livery is meticulously finished complete with one hundred percent accuracy in sponsor logos. The model released is an early season version which includes the ‘Thank You Charlie’ message in commemoration of Formula 1’s erstwhile Race Director Charlie Whiting who suddenly passed away on the eve of the 2019 season-opener in Australia.
Alfa’s livery design is an overly complicated one but the colouring on the model, especially the Alfa-red halo, engine cover, and rear bodywork is rich and silky smooth in appearance. There is no paint smudging to speak off and not a skew sponsor sticker in sight.
The model, complete with medium compound Pirelli tyres made of rubber, is affixed to a slate grey based which is emblazoned with the model, team, and driver name. It is clear that Spark is a cut above other scale model manufacturers. One such example is the fine attention to detail of the front wing. Where another manufacturer may have simply cast the front wing as one piece Spark has put in the extra effort of making the front wing flap connectors as individual pieces. A common gripe in lower quality F1 scale models is that the front wing almost always seems to attached at an angle there is no such issue with the Spark model.
Another fine detail is the height of the driver in the cockpit. In other models the driver’s helmet invariably sticks up too high, sometimes sitting higher than the Halo and almost obscures the air intake. In this model the proportion of the driver, and his helmet, is correct and sits at the correct height.
The 1:18 Spark model is a bit more expensive in comparison to other manufacturers. But you’re unlikely to get the high-quality finish and near perfect proportions that this model provides.