Will Gray

  • Gray Matter: Behind Ferrari’s pit wall

    Ferrari's decision to change their engineering team for
    the coming season shows just how important they feel the role of pit wall is in
    Formula One - and it could be even more crucial in 2011.

    The strategy mistake by Ferrari that handed Sebastian
    Vettel the world title in Abu Dhabi last year was a devastating one, not only
    for the team but for their former head of race track engineering Chris Dyer... yet
    it could be the making of their 2011 campaign.

    Dyer has been at Ferrari since 2001 and engineered
    Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen to world titles before becoming the chief
    track

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  • Gray Matter: 2010 Review – Disappointing drivers

    Sebastian Vettel may have triumphed in a titanic battle for the world title itself, but championship table aside who truly stood out and who failed to shine on the track in 2010?

    In Formula One, it is fair to say that the car counts for more than the driver so in assessing the best drivers of the season it is important to consider how each performed with the equipment they were given.

    Tomorrow we will take a look at the top four drivers of 2010 but first we look at the biggest disappointments.

    1. Michael Schumacher

    The uncontested biggest disappointment of the year was Schumacher's much

    Read More »from Gray Matter: 2010 Review – Disappointing drivers
  • Tech Talk: Newcomers of the year

    The three new teams on the grid all ended the season point-less - but who made the most of their limited resources and who stands to move forward the fastest in 2011?

    The performance of HRT, Lotus and Virgin had a few heads shaking early in the season, so much so that it appeared to put the FIA off handing out any more entries for 2011 for fear of filling the grid with 'also-rans' rather than quality outfits.

    Given the task ahead of them before the season began, however, every one of them did a pretty good job just to get to Bahrain in March and the fact that all three made it to the end of

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  • Gray Matter: 2010 Review – Best-performing drivers

    Sebastian Vettel may have triumphed in a titanic battle for the world title itself - but championship table aside, who truly stood out on the track in 2010?

    In Formula One, it is fair to say that the car counts for more than the driver so in assessing the best drivers of the season it is important to consider how each performed with the equipment they were given. With that taken into account, however, it is still hard to argue against the talents of the new world champion...

    1. Sebastian Vettel

    This year's title was Vettel's for the taking right from the start. The fact that he failed to win

    Read More »from Gray Matter: 2010 Review – Best-performing drivers
  • Tech Talk: F1 Car of the year

    Despite its occasional fragility, Adrian Newey's RB6 was the undisputed F1 car of the year in 2010 - but what set it apart from its rivals and can its core concepts help Red Bull continue their success into 2011?

    The key to Red Bull's ultimate success this season with the RB6 was the grounding it had in last year's RB5.

    Newey claims Red Bull does not have the resources of Ferrari or McLaren but the reaction of his team to regulation changes brought in for the start of 2009 was key to this season and he recently said that it was his team's ability "to out-think (their rivals) in some ways, come

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  • 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

    Read More »from Tech Talk: How Pirelli affects F1
  • 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