Life through a lens: Odd one out

Mark Sutton – Life Through a Lens – Odd One Out
F1 photographer Mark Sutton talks through his favourite shots from the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Nikon D4s Nikkor 24-70mm F11 1/250th ISO 200 with flash

A sign of disrespect?

I never heard from Lewis Hamilton after my last column, I was expecting a nod or something from the team! I had some positive comments about what I said last time and this is another bizarre Lewis moment. It’s the Malaysian national anthem and he has this insistence of carrying an umbrella. There’s nothing wrong with carrying one when it’s hot, but I still feel it’s a bit of an insult to the people and a bit disrespectful. The worst thing is he’s still wearing his hat, when none of the other drivers (aside from Max Verstappen) are. I was a bit bewildered looking at it. Worst of all, when I looked at the picture a bit closer he’s actually got his headphones in as well. So whether he knows the national anthem is even going on is another story! I tweeted about it and said it was a bit insulting to the Malaysian people. You know you’ve got to do it at every race, you know the score, if he’s got the umbrella again and the hat on in China then something needs to be said to him. As world champion he’s an ambassador for the sport and he shouldn’t act in that way.

Nikon D4s Nikkor 500mm F6.3 1/640th ISO 2000

Teenage kicks

This is just a wonderful shot. At the end of the session, a lot of the time the drivers disappear and you don’t see them. I thought I’d head down the pit lane to some of the smaller teams and see what was going on. Max Verstappen had got out of his car, was speaking to his dad – which in itself gave some nice pictures. At this point, his trainer came up to him and put a towel around his neck. What they do is put them in the freezer, which really gives them a refresh after a session in the Sepang heat. But here the trainer just threw it at Max’s head and his expression is priceless, I saw it through the lens and captured it. This is the moment the cold towel hits his head so I guess you can imagine how it feels when the freezing towel first touches you.

Nikon D4s Nikkor 70-200mm F11 1/1000th ISO 200

Two years in the making

I was on the roof to do some shots of the final pit stops and while I was there I thought I might as well do a finish shot. Luckily, where the there is a gap where for the teams to get off the grid at the start of the race, there’s two doors and there’s no screen on them. That means there is a gap and it’s right next to Ferrari. I followed Sebastian Vettel’s car down the straight as he approached the finish line, even though he weaved back and forth which made it difficult, but then he slowed down as he came towards the team and had both hands out of the car. The team were going a bit mental and there’s some atmosphere from the TV crews that are there. It’s one of these shots that is so difficult to make work but all the circumstances worked to create a really good shot, and as it’s Vettel and Ferrari’s first wins since 2013 it’s quite a nice one in explaining the wider story from the race.

Nikon D4s Nikkor 24-70mm F7.3 1/640th ISO 200

Burning rubber

This was quite a close moment in FP3. I was in the pits to do normal session shots and at the end they usually do these little burnouts to put some rubber down so there’s grip for the pit stops in the race. They are also classed as practice pit stops, making sure they’re stopping on the line etc. This picture is one of a long sequence – I just followed Felipe Massa through the pit lane as he came towards me. As he went through the pit box the tyres were still smoking and it makes for a really nice image. The tyre smoke coming off is just endless and quite atmospheric. In this one, you can’t tell that this shot is from Friday and not from during the race. The great thing about the shot was how close he came to me in the pit lane, it’s something different from the weekend as a lot of our car shots are taken from quite a distance at a corner.

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