Mark Sutton – Life Through A Lens – Feuds, shunts and champagne

Mark Sutton – Life Through A Lens – Feuds, shunts and champagne
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F14 | ISO speed: 400 | Lens: 24-70mm zoom.
This shot was taken ahead of the drivers’ parade, which I normally take photos of before going to the first corner tower for the start, but because there are three towers in Canada there is not so much of a rush. I was waiting with my long lens to do a shot as the drivers came past with the crowd or the blue sky in the background and then the two Mercedes drivers stopped for an FOM interview. Both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg started waving to the crowd, so I legged it over there and snapped a load of pictures, including this one with Lewis with his arm on Nico. I’m not sure Nico was too happy about it, but I think the PR exercise has kicked in from Mercedes and Hamilton’s management, XIX Entertainment, following Monaco. They probably gave him a bollocking after all the friction in Monaco because Mercedes aren’t that way and would not want to put up with his attitude. It’s bad PR at the end of the day, so I think he made an effort to be more pally with Rosberg in Canada.
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/1250s | Aperture: F8 | ISO speed: 200 | Lens: 10.5mm Fisheye.
This was something a bit different. You don’t normally get to be close to the cars outside in the daylight, but this was in FP3 after Jenson Button had come back from his last run. I like to mix it up because it’s easy to get into a routine and always end up with the same sort of pictures. I thought I’d take my Fisheye lens out to do something a bit different and wanted to get this shot close in to the cockpit. Obviously you have to get very close to get this sort of shot with a Fisheye, so I waited until he’d stopped and I took it as the team jacked him up and put the car on a board to manoeuvre him into the garage. I took about ten frames with different angles using the Fisheye and he didn’t seem too concerned. Because he has his helmet visor down it almost looks like he could be in an actual pit stop and the light is perfect so you can see plenty of detail. I don’t use the Fisheye that often because it can be a bit too much to be honest, but this is a different picture and a different angle that I think works nicely.
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/3200s | Aperture: F4 | ISO speed: 4000 | Lens: 500mm Telephoto.
This one looks like Sebastian Vettel is blowing me a kiss, but he’s just pulling one of his funny expressions in the cockpit. To be honest, I didn’t even know I’d got this shot, but when I went through all the frames I thought it was funny and decided I’d put it up on the website. The drivers probably hate having their picture taken like this. Lewis Hamilton, for example, apparently doesn’t like pictures taken when he just has his balaclava on. I don’t know why, but you’ll notice when he puts it on in the garage he always faces the reflective garage wall, which may be just to make sure the balaclava is on the straight on his head. Seb, however, doesn’t seem to give a damn and I think he actually looks like a fighter pilot or an astronaut in this photo because of the headphone pods on the side. But I like funny pictures when you can get hold of them, so I like this frame.
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F11 | ISO speed: 200 | Lens: 70-200mm Zoom.
Lewis Hamilton got alongside Nico Rosberg at the start and attempted to go around the outside in the hope of getting the inside line at Turn 2. Of course he didn’t quite pull it off and he went a bit wide, letting Sebastian Vettel through for second. It was an interesting moment because you can see how much kerb Rosberg had to take and that can often make a driver lose control a bit. But it was good to see the Mercedes drivers being aggressive and giving it a go right from the start of the race. Hamilton later retired with his MGU-K and brake issues and I’d noticed early in the weekend that a lot of the cars were running extra cooling because Montreal is so tough on the brakes.
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F7.1 | ISO speed: 200 | Lens: 500mm telelphoto.
I took this from the podium tower, which is a long way away from the scene of the accident. A lot of smoke appeared so it’s not the clearest picture, but the great thing about it is that the marshal has put the thumbs up. Perez hit the barrier twice before the car came to a complete halt, but I didn’t actually see the impact because I was climbing up the ladder to the podium tower. It was frustrating as a photographer because I’d been doing the rear shot of Turn 1 for the two previous laps. It’s one of those things where you can get caught out, but my next job was to shoot the podium so unfortunately I missed it.
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F6.3 | ISO speed: 200 | Lens: 70-200mm Zoom.
This just sums up Daniel Ricciardo all over – the big cheesy grin on top of the podium. He’s been looking good all year and has been ahead of Sebastian Vettel, with a big rise through the ranks since leaving Toro Rosso. It’s similar to the route Seb took when he left Toro Rosso, but of course he had a more competitive car when he first arrived at Red Bull. We’ll see how Ricciardo gets on from now, but of course Mercedes will bounce back once they get on top of the problem they had in Canada. But Dan was a deserved winner and you have to take the opportunities you can and make the most of them. It’s not his first year in F1 but he’s still been a revelation in the Red Bull, although it makes you wonder what some of the other Red Bull junior drivers – like Jaime Alguersuari and Vitantonio Liuzzi – would have achieved if they’d been given competitive cars.

Mark Sutton – Life Through A Lens – Pacing the Pack

Mark Sutton – Life Through A Lens – Pacing the pack
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/500s | Aperture: F4.8 | ISO speed: 2000 | Lens: 70-200mm zoom with 1.7 x Converter. This was taken on the Wednesday before the track action kicked off and Lewis Hamilton was riding him motorbike from his home in Monaco to the paddock. From what I was told the bike’s battery needed charging because he hardly uses it when he’s away, which was why it was in the garage. My attention was first caught by the alarm, which was going off for some reason, so I went up to see what all the fuss was about. I saw Lewis in the back of the garage by himself taking his hat off and putting his helmet on and that’s when I snapped this shot of the back of his head. For some reason he is very secretive about his hair cut at the moment and always wears a hat, but as a photographer that makes you even keener to get a photo – just like if a team is trying to conceal a part of its car. He’s been growing his hair back for four or five races, and on the grid he seems absolutely obsessed with getting his hat on before anyone can get a picture. I don’t know what’s going on, but we’ve got the picture now so it’s out there for everyone to see.
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/1000’s | Aperture: F7.1 | ISO speed: 200 | Lens: 500mm telephoto. This is a typical Monaco shot, and I know it’s been done before, but it’s still difficult to get right. The curve of the mirrored visor can distort the car quite a lot, so timing is crucial to getting it right. You don’t know what speed the car is going down the pit lane and I was shooting this almost opposite the Mercedes garage. You can see he’s about to go into the pit garage to do a burnout on the pit box and this just gives you something completely different of a fairly mundane task in the pit lane. I shot this on a 500mm lens and so you can see the background is completely knocked out in terms of focus and all you have is the helmet with the Monaco logo and the car reflected in it. It’s just a nice clear picture.
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/320s | Aperture: F7.1 | ISO speed: 400 | Lens: 70-200mm lens. It’s important to remember Sir Jack Brabham, a three-time world champion who sadly passed away last week, and this was Formula One’s way of paying tribute to him. I knew his sons quite well, mainly Gary and David, from my early career of covering Formula 3 and Formula 3000. Sir Jack put all his sons through the British motor racing scene, and I think the only one that didn’t come through was Jeff Brabham, who tended to stay in America. What was quite poignant was that I’d been the archive a few weeks ago looking for old Roland Ratzenburger pictures and I found a picture of David, Gary, Jeff, Sir Jack and his wife at Oulton Park in 1989 and I’d got them in a sheet ready to scan a week or so before he died. So it was all a bit eerie to be honest that those pictures were ready to scan. It was great on Sunday that the five current world champions on the grid were all there ready to do a little memorial shot and say thanks very much. It’s good the drivers made time on the grid, because they are so busy with interviews and final briefings with engineers, but these five were there to pay their respects.
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/320s | Aperture: F10 | ISO speed: 400 | Lens: 70-200mm zoom. I like this shot of Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt on the grid. I don’t know what Bernie was saying to him, I wish I could lip read! They were chatting before two or three minutes before all the cars and entourage came on, and they were having a heated discussion with Bernie remonstrating with his hands so you could almost read what he was saying from his hand movements. I find it quite funny that they are both the same height and obviously they are the two bosses of Formula One. It’s good to see them chatting on the grid together and they could be talking about any number of things, from what will happen with Sochi to the noise of the cars. To know for certain what’s going on you’d have to be able to mind read and lip read!
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F8 | ISO speed: 200 | Lens: 70-200mm Zoom. This was before the safety car restart and you can see Nico Robserg holding the field back to make sure he gets the perfect run on them at the start of the next lap. It’s a good photo to sum up the weekend, because he’s in control, as he was in qualifying when he braked at Mirabeau and as he was leading the race from pole position. As we’ve seen in the past, the one who’s on pole almost always leads and wins unless there is a pit stop problem, changing weather or a mechanical issue.
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/250s | Aperture: F16 | ISO speed: 800 | Lens: 70-200mm zoom. To wrap up the weekend I like this photo of Nico Rosberg with champagne bottle in hand heading towards the array of photographers, marshals, police and whoever else is lined up! I don’t get involved in that scrum because it looks like absolute carnage. I see it every year and I always try to avoid it because I know the champagne will be handed to the drivers as they come off the podium and they don’t care who ends up doused in it. There’s one photographer who looks a bit scared actually! But it’s a huge lottery as to the photos you’ll get because there is a line of marshals and then you are behind them and you don’t know where they are going to go. You can see Nico is loving it and he has the right angle for the full squirt into the face or into the lens! It was a nice end to a good weekend, made all the better because things at Mercedes are just bubbling now ahead of the next race.