Will Gray

  • Gray Matter: Can Lotus provide seventh different winner?

    After showing signs of race-winning potential Lotus have still not reached the top step of the podium this year — so why do they keep falling short and can they finally win this weekend?

    Six different drivers have won the first six races so far this season and this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix has the potential to create an unprecedented seventh different winner since the season began — with Lotus looking the most likely candidate for top spot from those yet to win.

    So far, however, the team has gone from the season's greatest surprise to its biggest disappointment, with their impressive turn

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  • Tech Talk: Making sense of the Red Bull ban

    Red Bull will arrive in Canada with a modified car after a hole in their floor was ruled to be illegal — but what was it designed to do and what effect will this decision have on their performance?

    The reigning champions currently lead the constructors' championship as the only team to win twice this season, but their performance so far is certainly not at the dominant level shown in 2011.

    The ban on blown diffusers affected the team badly — because they were the ones who developed the idea and were most advanced in its implementation — and like all of their rivals they have been hard at work

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  • Gray Matter: Should the FIA make a stand against costs?

    F1 chiefs have been meeting with the FIA in Monaco this week to discuss a new raft of cost cutting — but with smaller teams showing you can perform well on a budget does anything really have to change?

    The days of the manufacturer might ruling Formula One are long gone and this year is more open than ever with five different teams — McLaren, Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes and Williams — taking wins in the first six races and eight of the 12 teams well into double figure points already.

    In such a competitive season, it would be easy to believe the midfield runners are in the ascendency,

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  • Gray Matter: The impossible task of mastering Monaco

    mercedesFormula One heads back to the glitz and glamour of Monaco this weekend but it's far more than the fast cars and beautiful women — it is a real driver's challenge and it's virtually impossible to master.

    If a car could be programmed to drive the ultimate lap around Monaco, a top driver could probably beat its time because racing around the principality is more about feeling your way around its bumps and coping with its ever-changing grip than simply finding the best driving line.

    Graham Hill, Sir Jackie Stewart, Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher were all dominant forces in their respective

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  • Tech Talk: Why Thursday could be key to Monaco success

    Just when the teams were starting to get to grips with the 2012 tyre challenge, the use of the Pirelli supersoft will throw a new unknown into the mix for Monaco — which is why practice could make perfect this weekend.

    This season has been all about tyre control so far, and with different conditions suiting different teams at each event that has resulted in five different winners from five different races. A sixth this weekend would be unprecedented for Formula One.

    Each grand prix so far has used a combination of either soft and hard or soft and medium tyres, but this weekend the supersoft

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  • Gray Matter: Shaking the tag of the pay driver

    Does money sometimes mask top talent?Pastor Maldonado is still classified as a 'pay driver' despite his impressive victory in Spain last weekend — so has F1 got the right balance between money and talent?

    A pay driver is described as one that brings more money into a team through sponsorship than he costs them - and this year a massive quarter of all drivers on the grid fit into that category. But in truth it is probably far more than that.

    Senna also brings in cash - but also his nameMaldonado, now in his second season, brings an estimated £45 million to Williams thanks to significant backing from Venezuela's national oil company, PDVSA. Alongside him, his team-mate Bruno

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  • Gray Matter: F1′s tightening field

    The competition in Formula One has been extremely tight so far this year — but just how much has the field closed up from last year and what trends can be read from the three opening races?

    With two different pole-sitters, three different race winners and three different drivers setting fastest race laps this year, F1 2012 is a far cry from the Vettel domination that the sport saw in 2011.

    Last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix may have been won in style by Nico Rosberg and Mercedes, but behind him the frantic battle for the other points places showed just how close the field has come together.

    The

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  • Tech Talk: Can Mercedes repeat their success?

    Nico Rosberg celebrates in ChinaNico Rosberg took a dominant victory in China as Mercedes hit the sweet spot of tyre management — but after winning with plenty in reserve does it suggest the team is really about to hit the big time?

    Tyre management was key to Rosberg's victory in Shanghai, as it will be key to the entire season of racing, with Pirelli's new rubber appearing to have a narrow working window with some of the front-running cars.

    This operating window is affected significantly by ambient temperature at the circuit and by the resultant track surface temperature.

    In the season-opening race in Melbourne Mercedes

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  • Gray Matter: The Bahrain dilemma

    Formula One has faced pressure from all sides over its decision on racing in Bahrain — but with the event now given the go-ahead what were the key influences and will this be the end to the debate?

    Questions over the future of the Bahrain Grand Prix intensified this week, with one UK MP suggesting Bahrain has not shown itself to be working on genuine and sustainable reform while circuit boss Zayed Al Zayani claimed undue alarm has been raised by people who are not truly in the know.

    This has been an extremely complex conundrum for Formula One, with safety, human rights, finances and politics

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