Will Gray

  • Tech Talk: How tyre changes might turn the F1 season

    Pirelli are set to make significant changes to their tyres for the rest of the year following the dangerous blow-outs at Silverstone last weekend – but how could the likely changes affect the pecking order?

    Last weekend saw six explosive demonstrations of why Pirelli needs to change its tyres immediately.

    There have been concerns over the construction of this year’s tyres after failures in Bahrain and Spain, but in those cases the problem was in the form of delaminating tyres – where a cut in the rubber leads to the tread stripping away from the tyre surface, but the structure remains intact

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  • Gray Matter: Can F1 benefit from Mercedes test?

    This weekend the Silverstone paddock will be buzzing with reaction to last week’s Tribunal decision on the Mercedes tyre test – but what happened, what was wrong, and can F1 turn it from negative to positive?

    Ferrari and Red Bull are still fuming after Mercedes were ruled to have run a 2013 car illegally in a Barcelona tyre test earlier this year but were only given what their rivals see as a soft punishment of a ban from next months’ young driver test.

    The Tribunal decision came at the end of a long series of consequential events, which date right back to the introduction of the in-season

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  • Tech Talk: Why UK motorsport is getting stronger

    Formula One heads back to its roots at Silverstone this weekend and the industry behind it has never looked so good – but how and why is the area known as ‘Motorsport Valley’ going from strength to strength?

    Silverstone hosted the first ever F1 Grand Prix in 1950 and it was not long before an entire industry literally built up around it, with the circuit’s home county of Northamptonshire now sitting at heart of the UK’s famous motorsport equivalent of Silicon Valley.

    Its roots go back to the creation of teams like March, Brabham and Williams back in the late 1960s and now it is an industrial

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  • Who should partner Vettel at Red Bull next year?

    Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany kisses his throphy on the podium after winning the Canadian F1 Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal June 9, 2013. (Reuters)Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany kisses his throphy on the podium after winning the Canadian F1 Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal June 9, 2013. (Reuters)

    The next few races could prove crucial to the decision on who fills the Red Bull seat alongside world champion Sebastian Vettel next year – and all eyes will be on Toro Rosso.

    When asked this week about his future at Red Bull, Mark Webber said "the ball is pretty firmly in my court" and insisted there is no pressure on a decision coming any time soon. But he also admitted he needs to keep driving well because if he doesn’t then other people will "probably be more attractive to a team like Red Bull."

    Despite his comments, there are strong rumours against Webber staying beyond the end of the

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  • Tech Talk: Red Bull and Ferrari nosing ahead

    The quest for speed at the front of F1 demands constant development and the front wing has been a recent focus for several leading teams – but what changes have they been making and why?

    The front wing may not provide as much downforce as other parts of an F1 car, such as the diffuser, but it is the most important aerodynamic element because of what it does to the oncoming airflow.

    The wing itself needs to create manageable downforce and be trimmable to balance the whole car’s aerodynamic centre but the central section and pillars need to feed smooth flow down to the floor of the car and into

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  • Gray Matter: Can McLaren recover?

    McLaren sunk to a new low in Canada when their record of 64 consecutive points-scoring races ended despite both cars reaching the finish – so with 12 races to go is there still time to save their season?

    After being lapped by race winner Sebastian Vettel and finishing 12th behind team-mate Sergio Perez, Jenson Button admitted he had “never been so pleased to get out of a car”. He said it was like he had been racing “in a different category.”

    McLaren are ruing their decision to go for a completely new pull-rod suspension concept on their 2013 car when their rivals simply continued to develop

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  • Tech Talk: Why Red Bull are clear title favourites

    The Canadian Grand Prix saw fierce tyre critics Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel take a dominant victory – and it may just have proven precisely why they should now be considered this year’s title favourites.

    Red Bull have been complaining about tyre wear since the very first race of the year, claiming that the new Pirellis do not allow them to get the best out of their car – despite Vettel taking three wins and two further podiums from the seven races so far.

    The theory is that they would dominate every race if they were on rubber more akin to the 2012 Pirellis. And that’s what they like to do.

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  • Gray Matter: Does Red Bull makes sense for Raikkonen?

    The F1 silly season has started with Kimi Raikkonen being tipped as a possible team-mate to Sebastian Vettel next year – but is Red Bull the right place for the flying Finn?

    Not long ago Raikkonen’s F1 career was in danger of being remembered more for the inferred insolence of him munching on an ice cream in the pits during the Malaysian Grand Prix in his final year at Ferrari than for the natural talent and raw on-track energy he showed competing on the limit at the very front of the field for many years.

    But then along came Lotus.

    The unceremonious ejection by Ferrari in 2009 and two years

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  • Tech Talk: A big weekend for McLaren, Sauber

    This weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix offers teams a chance to finally make the most of the developments they introduced in Barcelona – so can McLaren and Sauber get back in the game?

    McLaren won here with Lewis Hamilton and Sauber finished on the podium with Sergio Perez last year but this season both teams find themselves floundering in midfield after making major changes to their cars and struggling to get them to work.

    Both introduced major upgrades in Barcelona last month but were left underwhelmed and have since been sifting through the data to work out how to find the performance gains

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  • Gray Matter: Is Sergio Perez too aggressive?

    Kimi Raikkonen didn’t hold back in criticism of Sergio Perez last weekend when he suggested the Mexican needed some sense knocking into him – but is his criticism of the McLaren driver fair or over the top?

    After two years settling into F1 at Sauber, Perez has been parachuted into one of the sport’s biggest teams as a replacement for departing former champion Lewis Hamilton.

    That’s tough enough - they are big boots to fill - but alongside him, he now has another former champion, Jenson Button, trying to establish himself as the team’s leader and the man to front their new Honda-partnered era

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