Will Gray

  • 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

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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

    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

    Read More »from Tech Talk: How will movable wings work?
  • 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

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  • Tech Talk: Is F1 ready for the Pirelli challenge?

    Tyre suppliers Pirelli have declared themselves satisfied with the modifications made to their new F1 rubber over the winter - but how have things changed and how will the F1 teams cope with the difference?

    The biggest factor in Pirelli's replacement of Bridgestone as F1's sole tyre supplier is in the strategy they have taken for tyre usage, which aims to make the rubber compounds less durable than the Bridgestones (which could last an entire race on some occasions) and ensure there is at least two pit stops in each race.

    On top of this, however, there are a number of other important factors

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  • Tech Talk: McLaren’s testing gamble

    McLaren's decision to go against the grain and launch their new car late has been criticised by some as "strange" - but there are several reasons why it could be the perfect approach for 2011.

    The new MP4-26 will not be revealed until February 4 in Berlin, a day after the opening three-day pre-season test begins. McLaren insist they are not running late in manufacturing and that it was always the plan to run their 2010 car in the first test, but by that time, if all goes to plan, all the other front-running teams will have had their new cars out on track clocking up several hundred kilometres.

    Read More »from Tech Talk: McLaren’s testing gamble
  • Gray Matter: Can Williams step up in 2011?

    The arrival of Pastor Maldonado and his Venezuelan financial support could signal a return to happier times at Williams after a tough few years - but can it steer the former world champions back to the front?

    Sir Frank Williams and Patrick Head have faced plenty of highs and lows together during their years in Formula One, but it is some time since they were enjoying the real fruits of success, and 14 years since they actually won the World Championship.

    Recent years have seen the team slowly drop down the order, and the crossover between 2010 and 2011 was a crucial one as the team lost

    Read More »from Gray Matter: Can Williams step up in 2011?