Mark Sutton – Life Through a Lens – Hasta la vista, Melbourne

Mark Sutton – Life Through a Lens – Hasta la vista, Melbourne
F1 photographer Mark Sutton talks through his favourite shots from the Australian Grand Prix.

Camera model: NIKON D4S Exposure time: 1/800s | Aperture: F5 Flash | ISO speed: 250 Lens 70-200mm Zoom.

I’ll Be Back

I already knew Arnie was at the circuit because I had done a photoshoot with him earlier but someone had mentioned he was going on the podium. You could see the shock on Lewis’ face when he came out because I don’t think the drivers knew. Lewis joked about his height and Arnie said he usually wears high heels and I think he does, he looked very small. It’s quite a funny sequence and with Arnie there they were always going to say “I’ll be back” and I thought it was great when they did on the podium. Hopefully we see him again this season because I think he took a lot of attention away from the dull race. He was also spot on with the microphone, he was very smooth and I don’t think he said one thing wrong throughout and asked very good questions. All in all, very entertaining!

Camera model: NIKON D4S | Exposure time: 1/400s | Aperture: F11 | ISO speed: 200 | Lens 70-200mm Zoom.

A curious attitude

I still can’t work out what Lewis’ problem is with photographers and I feel like something needs to be said about it. This was when the drivers were lining up for the national anthem, where he has to take his hat off. We all realise he’s got this mohican and I just feel like saying ‘it’s bloody hair, Lewis, nobody cares, it’s a haircut’. It’s like he’s got an issue of photographers taking pictures of his hair. In this case he turned away from us and I can’t work it out. It would be nice to sit down with him and ask him what his issue is. Our job is to take pictures so whenever we see him outside of the car we need to ‘pap’ him – what I call pap is not what he thinks a pap is. It felt like a bit of an insult. If he’s got an issue, just come and tell us because we’re all working together at the end of the day. It’s like he’s getting a bit arrogant. We did a Red Nose Day photo with Mercedes that weekend with Nico and the team. Lewis turned up and then hid at the back of the car. We’re doing it to promote the charity and if we can’t see him or his t-shirt, how is it going to promote anything? Nico came forward, posed with the red nose, posed with the t-shirt. You want as much publicity as possible and it was a bit spoilt by Lewis hiding out the back. On the grid for the national it was the same story.

Camera model: NIKON D4S | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F10 Flash | ISO speed: 200 | Lens: 70-200mm zoom.

Go, go, go!

This just looks a bit sparse because there’s two more cars missing after Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat failed to make it to the grid. So it’s two more cars on top of Bottas, the two Marussia’s and even Caterham if you think back to 2014. So in theory it’s seven cars missing from last year and it looks a bit sparse. It’s sad because we need those cars on the grid to give the fans watching in the crowd a show. Despite the limited numbers its still a spectacular start shot because there’s the people in the background, that main grandstand is a great place for fans to sit. Obviously it was a sunny day, there’s Melbourne signs, there’s a blue sky – it’s your typical Melbourne shot, the sort of shot which will be used as a preview of the Australian Grand Prix in years to come. This is the first time I did that shot, I was originally down for Turn 2 until a last-minute change and I’m glad I did because it’s a nice final picture.

Camera model: NIKON D4S | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F4.5 | ISO speed: 250 | Lens: 70-200mm zoom.

More champagne, sir?

If you look closely, Lewis Hamilton isn’t spraying Nico Rosberg here, he’s spraying Sir Jackie Stewart. It’s a bit naughty really because usually the VIPs are allowed off the podium before the champagne starts, but clearly Lewis had other ideas and he absolutely drenched him. This is a great podium to take pictures because everything happens in front of you. It’s one of those podiums where the light is nice and, as it’s the first race, there’s a bit more emotion – there’s none of this ‘I won’t spray you, you won’t spray me’ type scenario. After this shot Lewis came down off the step and sprayed into the hospitality window, getting all the guests. It went on forever. I don’t know how much champagne is in that bottle but it never seems to stop flowing!

Camera model: NIKON D4S | Exposure time: 1/800s | Aperture: F14 | ISO speed: 200 | Lens: 70-200mm zoom.

Entertainment from above

I’ve never seen a 747 thrown around like this one – literally thrown around. The pilot was coming in at full pelt and banking it on full whack. I’ve never seen a display like it by a big plane. A 747 is huge and it was almost like the pilot had a big smile on his face and was enjoying it. Normally they just come in and fly past but he was giving it proper welly, almost as if he was in a fighter jet. I was trying to work out if anyone was on board because imagine what that would have been like? I don’t think I could see anyone in the window but one of the Australian guys there at the time reckoned there was – it would have been like being on a rollercoaster. This was a great shot because I caught it right in front of the sun and you can just see the outline and angle of the plane.

Camera model: NIKON D4S | Exposure time: 1/320s | Aperture: F11 | ISO speed: 200 | Lens 70-200mm Zoom.

Odd men out

We do this shot every year but this time around it was missing Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas. We knew Alonso wouldn’t be there but Bottas was missing, it’s as if he’s not even turned up but this is just after he was ruled out of the race. I don’t know whether they’ll do another one in Malaysia but it’s all a bit strange. I didn’t know what was going on with Bottas until someone told me just before the shot, I don’t look all the time at the web or check Twitter because when you’re in the photographers’ centre you’re nowhere near the media centre. So this picture happened and I saw him go into the garage, so I ran down to try and snap a picture of Valtteri. But they had opened the pit lane up to the public for the walkabout. By the time I got to Williams there were a few TV crews there but that was it, but Williams had put screens up to hide everything.