Will Gray

  • Team preview: Red Bull Racing

    Reigning champions Red Bull have arguably produced the best car for the last two seasons and finally reaped the reward with double championship success last year - but can they stay at the front in 2011?

    Sebastian Vettel cried with emotion in Abu Dhabi last November after completing his smash-and-grab raid on the world title but now he will be expected to step up another level for this year's title defence.

    Only eight different drivers have won back-to-back world titles in more than 60 years of Formula One racing and given his competition, both from within the team and outside, it will be no

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  • Team preview: Renault

    The new black-and-gold liveried Lotus Renault is a radical machine carrying some lofty ambitions on its shoulders - but can the momentum at Enstone see the team recreate former glories this year?

    The team has scored just two wins in its last 71 races but in F1 terms it is actually not very long since it last won the world title - in 2006 with Fernando Alonso.

    The old guard from that era may now be long gone, but the new Renault team put down its own marker and made some aggressive progress last year, continually developing the car through the season and managing to mix it with the top four

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  • Team preview: Force India

    Force India almost won a race in 2009 then lost their way when two key technical men departed — so what's to suggest they could achieve their ambitious target of fifth place in the championship this year?

    Vijay Mallya's team has slowly been working its way up the grid in recent years, progressing with a strong technical team, a valuable engineering collaboration with McLaren and a talented and highly rated lead driver in Adiran Sutil.

    The stability of this slow rise in form was knocked off the rails when technical leaders Mark Smith and James Key left for Lotus and Sauber respectively — not

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  • Team preview: Williams

    It is more than 100 races since Williams last topped the podium but new backing and a determined stock market floatation shows they are not giving up — now can their radical car bring back the glory days?

    The last three seasons have seen Williams steadily climbing back up the F1 ranks, in terms of position at least, going from eight to seventh to sixth in the constructors' championship table. But for a team that as recently as 2003 was fighting for the title, this provides little to smile about. Neither does the fact two major sponsors, RBS and Philips, departed at the end of last year.


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  • Team preview: Toro Rosso

    running a 'replica' Red Bull car for years, a rule clarification forced Toro
    Rosso to become truly independent last season - so can they come into their own
    this season
    after a year in the making?

    The team
    formerly known as Minardi has certainly stepped up from its back-of-the-grid
    history in its five years on the grid but it has the might of Red Bull to thank
    for that, as it was basically being run as a race operations outfit using
    designs from Red Bull Technology.

    year, in its first year of design independence, it lost its way a little but
    this season is different as it is the

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  • 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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