Will Gray

  • Tech Talk: The new ‘double diffuser’?

    The pre-season questions posed over McLaren's unique rear
    wing concept smacks of the fuss made over Brawn's double diffuser last year -
    but what's it all about, and will it make such a difference?

    There's no smoke without fire, and the fact that several
    teams have called for a clarification over the design treatment at the rear end
    of the new McLaren means the team has simply created a clever concept or
    discovered a new loophole that others failed to spot.

    Last year, Brawn got the jump on their rivals by spotting
    a gap in the regulations that allowed the double diffuser - and while their

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  • Gray Matter: Is USF1 bad for F1 in US?

    The all-American dream is fading - and as the new USF1 team fights for its life before it has even turned a wheel, just how damaging could it be for F1's American future?

    There is no doubt the United States has its F1 fans, but claiming a significant share of the country's well-packed sports sector has always been tough for grand prix racing - so when Peter Windsor and Ken Anderson announced plans to create a homegrown team there was hope that the sport could finally secure a stronger presence 'across the pond'.

    Well before the USF1 dream was begun, crowds flocked to Indianapolis for the F1

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  • Tech Talk: A wing and a prayer

    The double diffuser concept that put Brawn so far ahead last year has been ramped up by some teams this season - but in fact one of the most important parts is actually not at the back, but right up front.

    The airflow over a Formula One car is extremely complex and the only time and place any of its aerodynamic devices have the ideal conditions in which to work is at the leading edge of the front wing, when the car is running in 'clean' air.

    Behind this point, the air has already been 'worked' by the leading aerodynamic surfaces and is turbulent, heading off at different angles and creating a

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  • Stefan GP grew from the remains of Toyota F1 with a plan to snap up a place on the grid when one of the accepted new entries inevitably collapsed - but after seeing the door slammed in their face this week despite the failure of USF1, perhaps they should have taken a different approach.

    The mysterious Serbian team, run by entrepreneur Zoran Stefanovic (pictured), was one of those rejected by the FIA during the initial bidding for the new entry places in 2010 but since that rebuff they have been trying any way they can to get into the hallowed F1 club, complaining to the EU, fighting against

    Read More »from Gray Matter: Stefan GP the best ‘takeover’ that never happened?
  • Tech Talk: How will new tyres change F1?

    Formula One welcomed a new range of tyres with thinner fronts and stronger rears this month - and they could make a big difference to the performance of the cars this season.

    When the teams changed from grooved tyres to slicks, the tyres remained the same thickness because some teams had already begun designing their cars around the wider tyres.

    This altered the relative contact patches and changed the balance of the car completely because the front tyres had more relative grip than they had in the past. It proved to be one of the big changes that made a difference last season.

    One year on,

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  • Gray Matter: Liuzzi, serious entertainer

    Vitantonio Liuzzi is exactly the kind of man Formula One needs on its grid - but can he find the focus to stay there this time around?

    The likeable Italian has been a paddock regular for some time - and he's always had a unique and popular presence.

    I remember him strutting in with his manager back when he was searching for a drive, joking around when he'd got his foot in the door and spending hours swooning Red Bull's Formula Una girls as soon as he'd grabbed his place on the grand prix grid.

    The only problem was, while he was a glowing ball of entertainment in the paddock, that aura never

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  • 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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  • Manufacturer exodus all part of the cycle

    Ferrari may have made a theatrical statement about their views on Formula One's manufacturer exodus - but motorsport history shows this re-privatisation of the sport was always on the cards.

    Toyota's decision to quit the sport immediately, followed by Renault's admission that they cannot rule out doing the same, has sent more shockwaves through Formula One. In a period of less than a year the sport has lost Honda, BMW and Toyota, leaving Renault and Ferrari as the only manufacturer teams remaining.

    The constant bickering seen this season between the manufacturers and the governing body over

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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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