Will Gray
  • 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

    Read More »from Gray Matter: Mourinho mind games at Mercedes?
  • 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?

    MERCEDES ARE SANDBAGGING

    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

    Read More »from Mercedes are sandbagging, and other things we learned from Malaysia
  • 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

    Read More »from Gray Matter: Why Dennis can make McLaren great again
  • Gray Matter: 10 things we learned in Melbourne

    The Australian Grand Prix heralded the dawn of a new era in F1 and while it was immediately clear things are far from fully formed there was plenty to learn from the opening race...

    1. Mercedes could be ahead for a while

    Mercedes dominated, with Lewis Hamilton taking pole and Nico Rosberg taking over to comfortably manage the race as he finished a commanding but controlled 25 seconds ahead of the chasing pack.

    That form was predicted right from the start of pre-season testing, but the big question is: just how far ahead are they really and how long can they stay there?

    Friday running led

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  • Eurosport’s massive F1 season preview: Part two

    In part one of our big season preview, Will Gray looked at how changes in engines and aerodynamics will impact on performance this year. Here we look in more depth at the field of drivers...

    DRIVER CHANGES

    The driver merry-go-round has been spinning hard for this season with all but two teams fielding either semi or fully new line-ups for 2014. The lead drivers have mostly stayed put but there are a few new second drivers arriving that could make things pretty interesting.

    At Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen returns to replace the outgoing Felipe Massa in a move that will give lead man Fernando Alonso

    Read More »from Eurosport’s massive F1 season preview: Part two
  • Eurosport’s massive F1 season preview: Part one

    In part one of our big F1 season preview, Will Gray explains why things could be very different this year...

    ENGINE CHANGES

    This season sees the biggest rule changes in years, and the complex nature of new compact turbocharged engines coupled with two electrical energy recovery systems has tested manufacturers to the limits.

    The centrepiece of the new formula is the 1.6-litre V6 turbo engine, limited to 15,000rpm with fuel flow restricted to 100kg/h at high revs to self-limit the amount of turbo boost. Teams have just five engine changes before receiving penalties compared with eight last

    Read More »from Eurosport’s massive F1 season preview: Part one
  • Sebastian Vettel on a rare excursion from the pits during testing

    Reigning champion Sebastian Vettel has not even completed a full race distance in his new Red Bull machine.

    Yet, counter-intuitive as it may seem, his likely struggles in the opening races could end up being the worst possible news for his rivals.

    Vettel is not used to this type of situation. Not since his debut season in 2008 has he started the year in a car that has virtually no chance of winning the opening race. Never has he begun the year in a car that is potentially even at risk of not even starting it.

    The Red Bull garage is always a busy place in winter, but whereas normally that is

    Read More »from Gray Matter: Testing troubles will end up making Red Bull stronger
  • Gray Matter: Could Williams be a dark horse?

    Pastor Maldonado took Williams back onto the top of the podium in Spain two years ago only for it to prove a false dawn – but things could now be aligning to make this a comeback season for the former champions.

    It’s not unusual for Williams to look strong in pre-season testing. They have shown good pace in three of the last six season build-ups, and this year is also showing signs of promise, with their fortuitous switch to Mercedes power paying early dividends.

    During this early period with the new regulations, mileage has been crucial and Williams has completed 2,523km so far, only 100 or

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  • Gray Matter: Is this the answer to F1’s qualifying issues?

    Formula One has a huge opportunity to improve its fan offering this week when bosses meet to discuss changes to the qualifying format – but could action from the Winter Olympics point to a new solution?

    Qualifying has long been a problem for Formula One in the TV age.

    It’s now 18 years since the sport dropped its aggregated qualifying format, which combined the times from two one-hour sessions on Friday and Saturday to decide the grid positions.

    Back in those days, cars had been tuned to deliver the ultimate one-lap performance, with qualifying-spec engines and super-sticky tyres. It led to

    Read More »from Gray Matter: Is this the answer to F1’s qualifying issues?

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