Will Gray

  • What do the new races mean for Formula One?

    The new races recently confirmed for Mexico in 2015 and Azerbaijan in 2016 represent the two poles of Formula One – but can the sport benefit from both emerging and traditional motorsport nations?

    When Mexican driver Petro Rodriguez raced in front of his home crowd in Mexico City in 1970, 200,000 fans turned up to watch. The last time F1 turned up, in 1992, the grandstands were still as busy as ever.


    The people of Mexico have a passion for F1, with origins dating back to 1962, but it is the determination of Carlos Slim, one of the country’s most

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  • Gray Matter: Time for Mercedes to pick their man?


    Mercedes chief Niki Lauda said they shouldn’t have been given; Lewis Hamilton said he was shocked to receive them; and Nico Rosberg said he didn’t even want them. Team orders created a storm in Hungary – but the fall-out could have a crucial effect on the championship.

    The ‘panicked’ decision that saw Mercedes ask Hamilton to move over for Rosberg opened a can of worms – and team bosses have confirmed they could now change the way they play for the rest of the season.

    For the team, it was the right call as Rosberg was on a three-stop strategy

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  • Gray Matter: ‘Not really German’ Rosberg fails to inspire

    Will Gray rounds-up what we learned from the German GP, including what the poor crowds say about Nico Rosberg and what sort the future for women in F1.


    At Silverstone, Lewis Hamilton used a dig at team-mate Nico Rosberg to highlight his own patriotic pride, suggesting the German driver was ‘not really German’.

    After low crowds last weekend he may have had a point.

    Rosberg, who races under the German flag for German team Mercedes, was brought up in Monaco by Finnish and German parents and Hamilton claimed he was “not really German”

    Rosberg, in response, took

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  • F1’s innovative ‘FRIC’ suspension systems are set to be sidelined from this weekend’s German Grand Prix – but how do they work, what makes the FIA think they are illegal and is their exclusion set in stone?

    Fully connected suspension systems first arrived in F1 in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Originally passive, they were quickly developed into electro-hydraulic active systems, which were run until banned on cost grounds in 1994.

    The concept disappeared entirely until Lotus resurrected it in 2008 and since then it has grown into an expensive and complex monster with all teams using

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  • Three things we learned from Silverstone


    The face of Lewis Hamilton after his dreadful decision to abort his second flying lap in final qualifying said ‘my weekend is over’ – but somehow he pulled off an incredible turnaround.

    It’s not that sixth on the grid was anything to worry about – with the Mercedes pace and his talent for finding space where others do not, a fast comeback was inevitable. He was second by the end of lap four.

    It’s not even that it was a bad mistake – okay, he should have considered the changeable conditions and continued, but after two bad sector times most drivers with

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  • Why the future looks bright for Silverstone once again

    It’s had its fair share of knocks and at times seemed unlikely to last but as Silverstone prepares to reflect on 50 years of Grand Prix racing it could finally have a brighter future ahead.

    Luigi Villoresi won Silverstone’s first Grand Prix on October 2, 1948, two years before the first ever F1 race was held there in 1950. It has been the sole host of the British GP since 1987 and will celebrate its 50th race with a parade of cars that starred there in the past.

    Anyone complaining about the current F1 engine note will be appeased at least for a while as the roar from yesteryear takes over,

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  • Gray Matter: What we learned in Austria


    Williams proved that they could be the team to tug at the heels of the works Mercedes squad for the rest of the season in Austria – but they may have to fight off Force India in future.

    The Mercedes engines were dominant around the Red Bull Ring, sitting permanently at the top of the speed trap numbers and setting seven of the eight fastest laps in the race.

    Meanwhile, the other engine camps were far from happy as, with the designs now in lockdown and the optimum software settings fast being reached, there is little left to play with in terms of improving

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  • Gray Matter: Why F1 needs to re-invent itself carefully

    Recent calls to re-evaluate the Grand Prix weekend and to discuss the way the sport sells itself are long overdue – but balancing tradition and progress will require a delicate approach.

    Formula One is understandably proud of its heritage, from its long-standing status as the pinnacle of automotive technology to its reputation for glitz and glamour in the paddock.

    Those were the cornerstones that enabled Bernie Ecclestone to establish it as the premium motorsport category and it has remained that way despite re-inventing itself time and again.

    On the technical front, super-fuels, tyre wars,

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  • Four things we learned from Canada

    After an action-packed Canadian Grand Prix which provided an F1 first, we look at the things we learned...

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    An interesting radio message between the Red Bull pit wall and driver Daniel Ricciardo gave a real insight into the strategy that can go into making a successful overtake in 2014.

    The Australian was closing in on third-placed Sergio Perez, aware that if he made a move stick a potential win was in his grasp, and the team asked him: "Daniel, what do you think is the most likely place for a pass. We'll work out the energy."

    A few laps later,

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  • Gray Matter: Why Vettel could be back on track soon

    The turbo issue that put Sebastian Vettel out in Monaco suggests there are still plenty of problems to address at Renault – but a three-way focus on software development is aiming to get them back on track.

    The French manufacture was the first to admit they were behind schedule in preparing for the new regulations in 2014. Their new powerplant was late onto the dyno in development, which left them with not enough time to get everything together before the teams got out on track.

    The new engine regulations put a premium on the integration of the V6 turbo combustion engine and the electrical

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