Will Gray

  • The accident suffered by Marussia’s Ferrari academy driver Jules Bianchi in Japan involved a significant amount of bad luck – but there are still some big lessons F1 can learn from it.

    The rain was torrential at the end of the Japanese Grand Prix when Bianchi’s car speared off the road and shot under the rear end of a reversing tractor as it moved Adrian Sutil’s stricken Sauber from the edge of the track. The incident has led to many questions – why was the race not started earlier, why was the safety car not out sooner, and how is it even still possible for F1 to suffer this kind of

    Read More »from The lessons F1 MUST learn from Bianchi crash
  • Vettel and AlonsoVettel and Alonso

    The confirmation of Sebastian Vettel’s departure from Red Bull looks set to result in two new long-term partnerships in Formula One. But the question now which one will succeed?

    When all falls into place, it is likely Vettel will be leading the effort to take Ferrari back to the front of the grid while Fernando Alonso will be tasked with reviving the McLaren-Honda legend.

    Given the current state of both teams, each move is clearly a big gamble. However, although Mercedes are well ahead this season, the potential for development in the early stages of the new regulations means both

    Read More »from Gray Matter: Who will succeed - Vettel or Alonso?
  • Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso) - GP of Belgium 2014Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso) - GP of Belgium 2014
    Max Verstappen will become the youngest driver to ever participate in an F1 weekend in Japan on Friday – but what does his rapid graduation say about Red Bull, and is it too big a risk?

    Young drivers are not new to Grand Prix racing. Jaime Alquersuari became the youngest when he joined the field in 2009, but before that it was Mike Thackwell, who raced in 1980, with Ricardo Rodriguez, who raced in the 1960s, before him.

    Verstappen’s graduation to Toro Rosso race driver at what will be 17-and-a-half years of age come next March, however, slashes that lowest age marker by over a year and has

    Read More »from Gray Matter: Is Max Verstappen a risk too far?
  • Will Gray looks back at the Singaporen Grand Prix, which saw Lewis Hamilton put his title hopes back on track - but which also raised some major worries for Mercedes and witnessed Red Bull make a blunder that could easily cost them the title.


    Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
    Red Bull may live to regret the decision to allow their drivers to follow each other home in Singapore – because it cost Daniel Ricciardo crucial points in his challenge for the title.

    Ricciardo has consistently out-performed team-mate Sebastian Vettel this year and is comfortably the team’s lead driver, with three race wins and

    Read More »from Gray Matter: The Red Bull blunder that could cost them a shock title victory
  • Cars drive into a corner during the Formula E Championship race in Beijing (Reuters)Cars drive into a corner during the Formula E Championship race in Beijing (Reuters)

    The new all-electric Formula E series made its debut on the streets of Beijing last Saturday – but does Formula One need to worry about it becoming a rival?

    The introduction of KERS in 2009 saw F1 become one of the first major racing series to involve electric power and this year’s new rules have taken that further, with more KERS and a new heat regeneration system.

    But Formula E takes things to a new level with the traditional internal combustion engine replaced entirely by an electric powertrain developed, ironically, by engineers from Williams and McLaren.

    And although F1 has had many

    Read More »from Gray Matter: Can Formula E rival F1?
  • Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton (L) of Britain celebrates on the podium besides second-placed team mate Nico Rosberg (R) of GermanyMercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton (L) of Britain celebrates on the podium besides second-placed team mate Nico Rosberg (R) of Germany


    Forget all those conspiracy theories suggesting that Nico Rosberg threw away a race win. What we saw in Italy on Sunday was bigger than that: a potentially crucial, balance-shifting change within the Mercedes team.

    Rosberg's misdemeanour in Spa proved he is determined to embrace risk at the highest levels to beat Hamilton to the title. For many, it shed new light on the controversial Monaco qualifying incident, where the German stopped on track and ruined Hamilton's final run.

    It has made him F1's boo boy, and that can't be nice. But more importantly it has put

    Read More »from Gray Matter: Conspiracy theory at Mercedes? No, it's more important than that
  • Fernando Alonso  (Reuters)Fernando Alonso (Reuters)

    Ferrari heads to Monza this weekend without a Grand Prix victory in more than 15 months – but even with new man Marco Mattiacci at the helm it could be some time before the Prancing Horse finally recovers.

    Mattiacci took the reins at Ferrari at the Chinese Grand Prix, almost six months ago, and has spent the time since gathering information and carrying out an immediate and thorough review of the team’s operations.

    His career has been moulded on successful regeneration. He is a fixer, parachuted into difficult situations every two or three years and tasked with turning things around.

    When he

    Read More »from Gray Matter: How quickly can Mattiacci revive Ferrari?
  • Rosberg is happy to play dirty

    The collision between the Mercedes cars in Spa is a defining moment in the career of Nico Rosberg – with his apparent decision to deliberately hit his team-mate proving he’s happy to play dirty.

    When Rosberg attacked and hit Hamilton on lap two in Spa it ruined the Briton’s race and after a team debrief he claimed Rosberg “basically said he did it on purpose...to prove a point.”

    Rosberg publicly claimed the clash was a “racing incident” and has since tried to gloss over Hamilton’s claims, but he has not yet denied them, cagily preferring to “keep things

    Read More »from Gray Matter: No more ‘Mr Nice Guy,’ Rosberg proved he can play dirty
  • Gray Matter: If Hamilton finds his focus, he’ll find the title

    Lewis Hamilton

    Nico Rosberg leads Lewis Hamilton by 11 points with eight races left - and until Mercedes say otherwise the pair are free to fight it out for the title.

    So who will win?

    Rosberg leads the qualifying battle 7-4 and Hamilton has suffered two disastrous sessions at the last two races, starting from the rear of the pack on both occasions.

    In races, though, it is very evenly matched. Hamilton has five wins, two seconds, two thirds and two retirements; Rosberg has four wins, five seconds, one fourth and one retirement.

    But in performance style, the pair could not be further apart.

    Rosberg has been

    Read More »from Gray Matter: If Hamilton finds his focus, he’ll find the title
  • F1′s big personality problem – and how it can be solved

    Formula One has formed a new action group to analyse how it can be made more popular – but with so many different ideas and the first meeting already postponed, how can the sport really find a new direction?

    Empty grandstands and decreasing TV viewing figures have sent shivers through the paddock this season. Concerns over the new engine sound, Mercedes’ dominance, overly strict punishments for ‘aggressive’ drivers and a few processional races (albeit amidst several spectacular ones) have spiralled into a full-on crisis.

    But none of this is really the problem. Formula One became popular

    Read More »from F1′s big personality problem – and how it can be solved