Will Gray

  • Team preview: Hispania

    minnows Hispania had tough times in the finance and performance departments
    last year and are still clearly chasing budget for 2011 - but with some respected
    names at the helm can they pull off a surprise?

    joining Lotus and Virgin as newcomers on the F1 grid in 2010 it was not
    actually Hispania that picked up the wooden spoon last year - that went to
    Virgin as the Spanish minnows actually had the better race results. But there
    was no denying that on pace and performance, they were some way behind their
    rival rookies.

    the team, former Jordan and Force India boss Colin

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  • Team preview: Lotus

    After being crowned best new team in
    2010, Lotus head into their second year with high expectations and bullish
    confidence - but can they really achieve their lofty ambitions?

    Last year's Lotus was, to be blunt, very
    basic and rather ugly. The boxy nose and square sidepods made it look like it
    was designed to meet the limits of the rule boxes with little more time taken
    to consider things further. But that was the plan, and it worked.

    Technical director Mike Gascoyne
    admitted immediately that the car, which was created in very limited time, was designed
    to a deliberately conservative brief

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  • Team preview: Virgin

    A calamitous start to life in Formula One tarnished what appeared to be an otherwise professional campaign but Virgin recovered and the team has promise for the future - so what can they achieve in 2011?

    Reliability was a major issue for Virgin at the start of last year and this time they will need to hit the ground running if they are to see a progression in their performance. Indeed, if the hype over at Lotus is anything to go by they will need ambitious development plans in place if they are not to be left behind by their biggest rival from last season.

    The car is again designed entirely on

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  • 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

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  • Tech Talk: Has ‘push button’ racing gone too far?

    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?

    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

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  • Gray Matter: How will Bahrain cancellation affect F1?

    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

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  • Tech Talk: Can Schumacher reignite his comeback?

    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?

    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.

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

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  • 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

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