Will Gray

  • Gray Matter: Races of the year

    This season began with team bosses and fans wondering how to alter the sport after the disastrous lack of overtaking at the dull season opener in Bahrain - only for the season to turn around and deliver one of the most spectacular title battles in years.

    But while varying development rates amongst the top teams on various different technical innovations helped keep the title race interesting, it did a good job of masking the fact that many of the races that were run in dry conditions continued to offer limited action.

    The perfect example of F1's issues was Fernando Alonso's failure to overtake

    Read More »from Gray Matter: Races of the year
  • Young driver testing – what’s the point?

    A total of 21 different drivers took to the track in Abu Dhabi last week for the young driver testing days - but with so few testing days available is there really any point to this event?

    The idea of Formula One's young driver testing days is to give the teams the chance to test out young talent with a view to revealing the next generation of potential superstars.

    There is no denying the concept is good and that it does offer these youngsters time behind the wheel of a contemporary F1 car they could otherwise only dream of - but the question is whether that time in the car is actually of any

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  • Tech Talk: How Pirelli affects F1

    Pirelli enjoyed a successful first test
    with the F1 teams in Abu Dhabi last week - but how important was the data they
    generated and how will it affect plans for next year?

    The test enabled Pirelli to collect
    11,000 miles of information on their new tyres - more than they collected in
    three months of private testing - and in general it seems, as expected, they
    have taken a less conservative approach to Bridgestone in pushing the
    boundaries of the tyre performance envelopes.

    It is early days, but in terms of pure
    pace the Pirelli tyres do not seem to be a match for the Bridgestones, with

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  • Gray Matter: Is Vettel a worthy champion?

    Sebastian Vettel did not lead the World Championship until he took the title in last weekend's final race - so is the Red Bull driver really a worthy champion?

    Red Bull dominated for much of the year and, aside from two brief mid-season blips when first McLaren then Ferrari improved their pace, the team was easily the fastest out there.

    On a single lap, Vettel was the master and the number of pole positions he achieved this season is perhaps his most impressive statistic. He started 10 of the 19 races from the front with team-mate Mark Webber the next best on half that number, while Fernando

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  • Gray Matter: Red Bull’s real team order conundrum

    Red Bull looks likely to dominate this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - and if Fernando Alonso's Ferrari fails him during the race the team orders debate could take an unexpected twist...

    Red Bull heads to Abu Dhabi as the form team, with clearly the fastest car in the recent races and a past history of success at the Yas Marina circuit, having taken an impressive one-two finish there last year.

    Alonso may be leading the championship on 246 points right now, but the title battle is delicately poised and one highly possible scenario has gained little comment so far.

    Thanks to engine failures

    Read More »from Gray Matter: Red Bull’s real team order conundrum
  • Tech Talk: Can Red Bull build Ferrari-style domination?

    It is
    more than a decade since one of Adrian Newey's cars won a world title - but
    after Red Bull's constructors' triumph this year, can he steer the team into a
    period of domination?

    Newey
    first truly arrived as a fixture in Formula One with March in 1988 and after
    all his time in the sport he recently declared his job of turning Red Bull into
    race winners then title contenders and ultimately champions as the "biggest
    task" of his career.

    He has
    always been at the forefront of F1 design, but success at Red Bull has been a
    long time coming.

    In his
    first front-running role as chief designer

    Read More »from Tech Talk: Can Red Bull build Ferrari-style domination?
  • How will Pirelli tyres fare in 2011?

    As Bridgestone prepares to bow out in two races' time, Pirelli is well down the line with its new generation of Formula One tyres - but can it take an 'aggressive' approach and will the change be good for the sport?

    So far the new F1 tyre manufacturer has been tight-lipped on testing results, but all will be revealed in Abu Dhabi just days after the end of the current season when all teams will get their first run on the new rubber.

    Pirelli's engineers have long been working on simulation models and tyre compounds in their R&D facilities, which offer a resource of more than 1,000 engineers

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  • Tech Talk: Can Lotus cut it next year?

    As Lotus head towards the end of their comeback season they have declared an ambitious long-term future - so with much of the jigsaw now in place, what chance does the team have of becoming regular points scorers?

    The recent announcement of a tie-up with Red Bull Technology for next year has taken Lotus in a new direction, and this proven approach to use a supply of parts from a leading team is a crucial element for a forward-thinking mid-grid runner.

    Lotus will run Red Bull gearboxes next year, and with that is likely to come a Renault engine deal to complete the package - the exact same

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  • Gray Matter: Can F1 work the team orders game?

    Ferrari's embarrassingly blatant driver switch in Germany flaunted the F1 rules - but is there any way that the sport can bring back team orders in a way that keeps fans happy?

    Team orders have always been a part of grand prix racing but since a ban on them was introduced in 2002, teams have been forced into making thinly veiled moves to switch positions, be it through a fumbled stop in the pits, a temporary mechanical glitch or an 'independent' decision by the lead driver to slow and pull over on the track.

    The wording of the ban, in Sporting Regulation 39.1, is pretty open for

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  • Tech Talk: Will engine issues haunt Ferrari?

    Engine usage plays an increasingly important role towards the end of the season - so could Ferrari's troubled times early in the season come back to haunt them in the title run-in?

    The increase in races this season has put more pressure on engines than ever before. Teams have just eight units for the year and must now eke them out for 18 events. Some of the leading contenders in the title chase are now coming dangerously close to using up their allocated amount - and it is Fernando Alonso who has most to worry about.

    Ferrari started the season with some terrible engine issues. They were forced

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