Will Gray

  • Gray Matter: Is Monaco set for qualifying chaos?

    The first wheels have turned in Monaco this weekend and there remains concern over potential chaos in F1 qualifying - but what will separate a clean lap from a complete disaster on Saturday?

    When some teams tried to split qualifying for this weekend's trip to the Principality they failed. Quite rightly so, many said. And indeed, you have to agree - when F1 is in constant need of a 'lottery' factor to create excitement, why get rid of a perfectly legitimate one around the streets of Monaco.

    The naturally narrow streets combined with the short circuit length - at just 2.065 miles it is more than

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  • Gray Matter: Team-mate head-to-head

    The season began with expectations of some intriguing head-to-head battles within the leading teams - so after three races, who has the upper hand now and how is that likely to change?

    Looking into the crystal ball before the season began, Jenson Button's move to McLaren was the one that raised most question marks. There were many doubts about his chances of taking on Lewis Hamilton in a team that the younger Briton had made his own, and many expected him to crumble under the pressure.

    Instead, Button took McLaren's first win of the year and has certainly held his own - but suggestions that

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  • Gray Matter: Has Silverstone got it right?

    The new Silverstone layout has been widely praised after its
    initial unveiling — but will the design present more overtaking opportunities
    and after many changes have they finally got it all right?

    In an era when Hermann Tilke rules the roost on circuit design, the new
    Silverstone layout has a real opportunity to shine. Aside from Abu Dhabi, which
    was given significant praise from most quarters for both track layout and
    facilities, many other recent Tilke designs have been widely criticised for
    being 'the same old formula'.

    Silverstone has been developed by UK-based Populus, who designed

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  • Tech Talk: Red Bull’s shock step forward

    All hopes of a levelled playing field once the teams introduced their new development upgrades in Barcelona were blown away by Red Bull Racing - but just how far are they in front?

    Through the first four races Red Bull's car was a step ahead its rivals on pace, even if conditions and reliability worked against the team on several occasions. But nobody could have predicted the leap they made at last weekend's race in Spain.

    Team boss Christian Horner warned in the pre-race preview that this would be the "biggest update of the year so far" having already seen improvements building race by race -

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  • Gray Matter: How will Schu do?

    Michael Schumacher, medical test pending, will be back in a Ferrari Formula One car in 22 days for his eagerly-anticipated comeback - but with 34 months passed since his last competitive race, how do the odds stack up for the seven-times champion to return in a blaze of glory?

    The fanfare for the return of F1's greatest driver gave the sport a boost on the day another great German, BMW, announced plans to leave the arena. The news of the manufacturer's departure was hugely significant for the sport, but nothing could dampen the enthusiasm for the Big Chin's comeback.

    There is no doubt

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  • Tech Talk: To test or not to test…

    This month sees a crucial period of pre-season preparation for the 2010 World Championship - and teams must work out which tasks should be prioritised to best to make every second count.

    There is a lot to fit in before Bahrain kicks off the season in March, and a lot of decisions to be made. New designs to finalise, new cars to build and crash test, new systems to check, new drivers to bed in and new engineering personnel to hone and perfect.

    It is a pressured time for the current teams, let alone the new outfits with limited experience of the vital timelines ahead of the opening race.

    This

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  • Tech Talk: Can Schumi find the answer?

    Michael Schumacher's comeback has been a disaster so far - but can a new chassis and a change to an ill-designed wheelbase really be the solution to his problems?

    Mercedes have suggested Schumacher's struggles may not all be down to his 'race rustiness' by revealing he has been driving a "damaged car" for several races and that the fundamental design of their W01 machine is neither optimised to this season's rules nor suited to his style.

    The first issue is a surprisingly common one. Formula One cars are far from robust and even an over heavy kerb rattle could put things out of line, sometimes

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  • Tech Talk: New season starts here…

    This weekend's Spanish Grand Prix marks the 'real' start to the F1 season with most teams preparing a raft of new developments - but what is in the pipeline and who is likely to make the biggest jump?

    The opening four flyaway races left teams little room for manoeuvre in terms of major new parts (especially with the added challenge of the Icelandic volcano) but plenty of time for design office thinking back at base.

    Many have stored up several new design improvements ready for release as a big step package this weekend, so there should be some intriguing additions that could alter the order.

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  • Gray Matter: Is aggressive racing getting too much?

    After the dull opening to the F1 season there have been spectacular knife-edge overtaking moves aplenty in the last three races - but are things being allowed to get a little out of control?

    The spectacular image of Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell going wheel-to-wheel for the first corner in Spain is one of the iconic examples of on-the-edge racing and although we are yet to see such a move this season, there have been quite a few close calls to raise the eyebrows.

    Lewis Hamilton has come in for equal praise and ear bashing over his aggressive approach to getting through the field. His McLaren,

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  • Tech Talk: Tyre decision crucial for F1 future

    The 2010 season may only be four races old, but all teams are already at a crucial point in the design phase for 2011 - and a decision on tyres needs to be made sooner rather than later.

    Formula One was seemingly caught unawares when Bridgestone announced they would not renew their contract beyond 2010 and in a race against time it seems Michelin is now in prime position to make a return - but it's not as simple as that.

    Tyres are one of the crucial unpredictable elements needed to make F1 entertaining, and their importance has grown significantly since the ban on refuelling this year.

    So far,

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