Will Gray

  • Does F1 need England?

    As Abu Dhabi prepares to become the 28th nation to host a grand prix, Silverstone officials are desperately trying to secure the future of the British event - but does F1 really need to race at 'home'?

    Bernie Ecclestone has been making a concerted effort to spread his world across the globe in recent years and he proved he does not care too much for tradition when he dropped the long-standing French Grand Prix last year, leaving Britain as the only country to have run a race every year since the start of the F1 World Championship in 1950.

    As the calendar has morphed, the British race has

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  • Abu Dhabi: A new barrier to overtaking?

    The integration of a new wave of safety barriers has turned the spectacular new Yas Marina track into a tight, twisty and unforgiving street-style circuit - but will it be good for the racing?

    The increasing desire for improved safety over the last 20 years has made circuit designers focus on creating larger and larger run-off areas and introducing chicanes to slow cars down in dangerous places, moving fans at the track away from the action and altering places like the historic Eau Rouge corner to tame their danger.

    At the same time, in some cases there has been a transition from the use of

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  • Gray Matter: Will new talent get a chance?

    The 2010 F1 entry list still has 11 spaces (pending Sauber's entry acceptance) to be filled - but as Formula One tests its latest crop of hopefuls do any have a real chance of winning a place on the grid?

    Grand Prix fans have become used to seeing the same names lining up year after year - and in recent seasons the few drivers who did make it in ended up making a quick exit.

    In 2008, Nelson Piquet and Sebastien Bourdais were the only two to make their F1 debuts, while Timo Glock returned to the grid. In 2009 there was just one newcomer, Sébastien Buemi, at the opening race and by the end of

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  • Technical Talk – F1 sims show their worth

    When F1's young drivers hit the track in Jerez last week it was no coincidence that Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo ended up setting the fastest time - he'd already driven an F1 car there...virtually.

    Ricciardo (pictured), the reigning British Formula Three champion and part of Red Bull's young driver programme, had never been on the Jerez track before he drove the Red Bull Racing F1 car out of the garage last Tuesday, but the wonders of modern technology ensured he was ready to make the most of his opportunity and help the team gain from the three-day test.

    Before the outing, the young

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  • Gray Matter: Shortcut to success?

    When Bernie Ecclestone announced his latest idea to spice up Grand Prix racing earlier this week it made a few jaws drop - but are shortcuts a crazy concept or could they be the future of Formula One?

    Many different ideas have been put forward over the years to try and make motorsport more exciting; and, while many fans feel the chess-like strategic contemplation on the pit wall is as much part of the sport as the high-speed wheel-to-wheel action, there remains a focus on finding a way to create more overtaking.

    The concept of KERS, which offered a high-speed boost for drivers with the system

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  • Gray Matter: What’s in the times?

    Ferrari appear to have hit the track running after a high-profile opening pre-season test - but is the Italian team's early performance a real pointer towards the new season?

    Every year, pre-season testing offers the first chance to judge the teams' potential for the coming season and with seven new cars making their track debuts at the same time this week, the opening test of 2010 was a real focus of excitement.

    Traditionally, testing times are not easily comparable as the teams all work on different programmes - and that has been accentuated this year by the ban on refuelling, which has

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  • Tech Talk: New trends revealed in Valencia

    Formula One is back in anger with seven new cars rolled out for their first real runs in Valencia this week - and already the trends are appearing as the shape of 2010 reveals itself.

    Most teams began conceptual work on their 2010 cars before last season had even begun - so this is an exciting time in the world of F1 engineering as more than a year of hard work behind closed doors on the 2010 models is finally revealed.

    The lack of marketing-driven launch shows for 2010 has led to most teams pushing the timelines of detail development as far as possible. Ferrari was the first team to reveal

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  • Tech Talk: What will F1-2010 look like?

    Although little appears to have changed in the F1 technical regulations for 2010, the new machines will be quite different when they are revealed at the first of this year's launches next week.

    Unlike last year, when the new cars made a dramatic visual impact with enlarged front wings and reduced rear wings, this year's new machines will look relatively similar to their predecessors - but their layout will be significantly different.

    The main reason for this is not in fact a technical rule change, but a sporting one - the ban on refuelling, which will have a major effect on design for car

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  • Gray Matter: Who will fill in at Renault?

    The F1 field is now well formed for 2010 but there is still one gaping hole amongst the leading teams - so what is Renault looking for in its second driver, why is it taking so long and who might end up there?

    The team currently known as Renault is very different to the one with which most people associate the name. Flamboyant Flavio Briatore, with his wild but successful management style, is now long gone. So too is the metronomic engineer Pat Symonds, whose feet-on-the-ground approach made him appear constantly calm and who always purveyed an absolute confidence in his and his team's

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  • Tech Talk: Does F1 have a sustainable future?

    As the new decade dawns, Formula One's eyes are on a sustainable future - but after the debacle of KERS how can the sport's engineers approach the demands for environmentally friendly racing?

    In the great scheme of things, Formula One's collective emissions are miniscule, yet the involvement of global corporations that are seen to be causing harm to the planet creates a dark cloud over the sport.

    While it could be argued F1 is so influential, with so many fans around the world, that it is an ideal vehicle for the promotion of sustainability issues, Honda's 'Earth Dreams' car, which aimed to do

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