Will Gray

  • Tech Talk: What you need to know for 2011

    Suggestions that this year's F1
    rules would make cars more similar have been scotched by some interesting
    innovations in the pitlane - so what are the key design trends of 2011?

    This year, the regulations banning double diffusers and changing tyre manufacturers appear to have forced teams to push the innovation boundaries more than ever to find that crucial extra few tenths of a second. Indeed, Williams technical chief Sam Michael admitted recently: "This is the most standardised set of regulations Formula One has ever had but the cars look completely different..."

    One of the most significant

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  • Gray Matter: What will happen to F1′s new manufacturer age?

    Formula One is now experiencing a new manufacturer age with the influx of several new brands in recent months — but could things be different this time around?

    The arrival of Infiniti at Red Bull made interesting reading this week, with the luxury Nissan brand clearly stating the primary objective for its F1 foray is as a means to expand its brand awareness across the globe, not to immediately claim technical prowess for Red Bull success.

    This is a markedly different approach to what has been seen before, but one that is following a recent trend.

    Automotive manufacturers have been on the

    Read More »from Gray Matter: What will happen to F1′s new manufacturer age?
  • Tech Talk: Has ‘push button’ racing gone too far?

    The
    return of KERS and the new movable rear wing is set to offer more overtaking
    this year - but with more new controls in an already hectic F1 cockpit is this
    'push button racing' now a bit too much?

    The
    increasing complexity of current F1 cars has seen the job of a driver change
    dramatically, with more and more buttons and levers on the steering wheel and
    more to think about throughout every single lap.

    Back in
    2000, a cutting-edge F1 steering wheel, like the one used by Ferrari, already
    had eight buttons, two gear change paddles and six dials controlling everything
    from the drinks bottle

    Read More »from Tech Talk: Has ‘push button’ racing gone too far?
  • Gray Matter: How will Bahrain cancellation affect F1?

    The
    cancellation of F1 activity in Bahrain over the next few weeks will clearly alter
    team preparations for the new F1 season - but what are the key issues and what
    effect will they really have?

    The new
    F1 season now starts on March 27 - some two weeks later than planned - and the
    longer preparation time comes with a wide variety of benefits. However, the
    scrapping of the Bahrain test could conversely have major detrimental effect,
    as no running will be done in the types of weather conditions expected for the
    opening few races.

    In the
    build-up to the season, one of the most crucial elements

    Read More »from Gray Matter: How will Bahrain cancellation affect F1?
  • Tech Talk: Can Schumacher reignite his comeback?

    Michael
    Schumacher's 2010 comeback was so woeful at times there were rumours of him
    retiring if things did not go right in pre-2011 testing - so with Mercedes
    apparently struggling can he turn things around?

    Schumacher
    has started the year airing surprisingly low expectations after the opening
    testing runs in his new Mercedes W02 - saying from the start that he is
    targeting only "a minimum of podiums and hopefully victories" and that he cannot
    hope for more right now.

    Mercedes,
    however, have a major new upgrade coming before the opening race of the season
    and that could spring a surprise

    Read More »from Tech Talk: Can Schumacher reignite his comeback?
  • Tech Talk: What will Valencia testing reveal?

    Formula One is back on track with its first pre-season test in Valencia this week — so with eight of the 12 teams debuting their new cars how much will the running reveal about their prospects for 2011?

    This week in Valencia has always been the target for most of the F1 teams to have their new designs completed and ready to run, giving them the maximum track time over a total of four tests (15 days of running) before the season-opener in Bahrain in just over one month's time.

    Early running is never a great indicator of things to come, and after this test, indeed even by the time the second

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  • Tech Talk: The arduous challenge of 20 races

    This year's F1 season will involve the highest
    number of races in the sport's history - so how will drivers and teams cope
    with the gruelling and seemingly ever-growing schedule?

    The F1 calendar has expanded from 16
    races in 2003, when the season covered eight months from March 9 to October 12,
    to a highest-ever total of 20 events this season, with the first race on March
    13 and the final one at the very end of November.

    Since 2003, F1 has introduced a ban on
    testing, which has reduced budgets and could go some way to coping with the
    added cost of more races. However, the sport has also

    Read More »from Tech Talk: The arduous challenge of 20 races
  • Tech Talk: How will movable wings work?

    Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali has spoken this week about his concerns over F1's new movable rear wings - but is he right to worry or will they finally solve to the sport's overtaking issues?

    The new rear wing system seems quite simple at first glance.

    F1 rear wings consist of a large horizontal main plane section and a separate flap, which sits on the trailing edge of the main plane and is positioned at a steeper angle. The two work in combination to create downforce. In the new rules, at a given point a driver can alter the angle of the flap by moving the trailing edge down 50mm. This

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  • Gray Matter: How crucial is Schumi’s sim-sickness?

    Much has been made of Michael Schumacher's recently revealed 'sim-sickness' - but how and why does it affect the seven-times world champion and will it be a problem for him in 2011?

    Increasingly complex simulators are being used by even the smallest of teams these days, with the ability to not only give drivers virtual testing time but also to bring through new car developments and manage car set-ups away from the racetrack.

    Those used by the top teams involve a full real-life cockpit, complete with pedals and actual button-filled racing steering wheel, in which a driver will sit. This cockpit

    Read More »from Gray Matter: How crucial is Schumi’s sim-sickness?
  • Tech Talk: Will F1 be safe with new wings?

    The new moveable wings are almost certain to change the way the sport uses its strategy - but while the system will almost certainly create overtaking it could also create some problems.

    If it works, the system will significantly impact the teams' strategy models because of the increased ease in getting through traffic.

    The teams use computer simulations to predict how their race will pan out given numerous variables, one of which is a factor that considers the time delay from being unable to overtake backmarkers. The teams' pit strategies are based on avoiding ending up in traffic, but the

    Read More »from Tech Talk: Will F1 be safe with new wings?