Will Gray

  • Three things we learned from Monaco

    Any idea that the Mercedes dominance could be quashed in the slow-speed streets of Monaco was shattered by another one-two last Sunday – but the race marked several key turning points in the story of 2014...


    There is no doubt the media jumped at the chance to stir up a storm between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at Mercedes but with or without that added pressure it was always going to intensify.

    It emerged after the Spanish Grand Prix that Hamilton had used an unauthorised aggressive engine mode to stay ahead - although that was in response to Rosberg doing the

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  • Gray Matter: Can Lotus recover?

    After a turbulent winter and some terrible early season form, Lotus finally got back in the points in Barcelona – but how did they fall from the top and can they go on to complete the ultimate comeback?

    It was a tough winter for Lotus. Kimi Raikkonen, a driver who not only got the best out of the car but also lifted the team’s status, left for Ferrari and painted a bleak picture of team finances on his way out. Then team boss Eric Boullier, an ever-positive leader who helped the team punch above its weight, lost the faith and switched to McLaren.

    And then came the new car launch, and a

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  • Lewis Hamilton is winning the mind games… for now

    The European F1 season began in Spain last weekend and after promise of upgrades to challenge to Mercedes’ dominance there was little to suggest this season will be anything other than a two-horse race...

    So what did we learn in Spain?


    In a car so dominant, with two extremely talented drivers fighting for victory, the battle for the title already appears likely to come down to psychology within the Mercedes team – and the atmosphere after the race suggests Lewis Hamilton has Nico Rosberg right where he wants him.

    There was little interaction

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  • Gray Matter: Why it is a crucial month for F1′s future

    Teams have just one month to conclude discussions on some potentially significant changes to the sport for 2015 – but what are the problems and are there solutions that can help F1 build a stronger future?

    After the relatively successful introduction of an all-new technical era this season, F1 is facing up to the fact that it must now reshape the sport itself to maintain relevance and ensure there is a stable platform for survival and growth.

    The big discussion points on the table – spiralling costs, unbalanced revenues and a lack of entertainment - are not new but there is a feeling now that

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  • Gray Matter: Remembering the great Ayrton Senna (1960-1994)

    It’s 20 years today since Ayrton Senna died at Imola but his legend still lives on as the inspiration of the current F1 generation – even though many of the latest drivers cannot remember him alive.

    Senna was an enigma. He was everything a racing driver of his era had to be, but on another level. His natural talent was immense and his concentration, on and off track, was intense.

    The Latin passion was, for the most part, harnessed to perfection, while his deep religious beliefs and his very private approach to public life added a mystery that allowed few to get to know the real man.

    As a

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  • Gray Matter: Why Mercedes are dominating F1

    The last of the opening fly-away races saw the same story of Mercedes dominance repeated once again last weekend – but what other things did we learn in China...?


    The key factor in Mercedes’ dominant performance was clearer to see than ever in China, with the 1170m run between turns 13 and 14 showing just how well the Mercedes powerplant is working.

    Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg topped the speed trap table in qualifying, both clocking just over 317km/h, as Mercedes-powered cars filled the top six. In contrast, the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel

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  • Gray Matter: Mourinho mind games at Mercedes?

    Performing at the pinnacle of any sport is as much about competitive analysis as it is about natural talent these days – and as competition heats up at Mercedes the data analysts could hold the key to the title.

    In football, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is one of the most meticulous managers and his incredibly detailed pre-match analysis of opponents’ preceding matches is key to his success. Top tennis players, meanwhile, can find the edge by picking through Hawkeye data available from past performances of rivals. And jockeys have used form guides to pick horses and races since the dawn of the

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  • Gray Matter: Four things we learned in Bahrain

    So F1 2014’s boring is it? After two dull opening races, the Grand Prix came alive in Bahrain with ferocious battles throughout the field. But what lessons have we learned from the third race of the year?

    1. Big boys can race - if they are allowed

    Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were running nose-to-tail in the closing stages of the race when their Mercedes team bosses gave a simple call over the radio during the safety car period, telling each to ‘bring the cars home.’ What happened next was spectacular. Two top drivers in the best car out there were given the respect from their team and each

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  • Mercedes dominated the second race of the season, claiming their first one-two of the modern era, but what lessons did we learn from Sepang?


    Don’t be fooled by the relatively close time difference between second-placed Nico Rosberg and third-placed Sebastian Vettel at the end of the race – Mercedes are not even close to demonstrating their true pace so far this season. And if the fuel figures are to be believed there is still some way to go before Red Bull will get on terms with Mercedes.

    The ‘Silver Arrows’ were in control with Lewis Hamilton comfortably ahead of

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  • Gray Matter: Why Dennis can make McLaren great again

    Ron Dennis is back at the helm of McLaren F1 after a disastrous 2013 season and things are already looking up – but how can the returning boss bring back the glory days?

    Dennis, who stepped down as team principal just over five years ago, saw what was happening to his operation last season and quickly stepped in to stage a boardroom coup. Now, positioned as McLaren Group CEO, he is spearheading not a revolution, but a simple but effective evolution.

    For a man who is known for his straight-talking approach and desire not to over promise, his pre-season statement that McLaren will win again

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