Mark Sutton – Life Through a Lens – Monaco Grand Prix – Joy and despair in the principality

Mark Sutton – Life Through a Lens – Monaco Grand Prix – Joy and despair in the principality
F1 photographer Mark Sutton talks through his favourite shots from the Monaco Grand Prix.

Nikon D4s | Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F10.

Backing up

This is where Nico Rosberg was holding the pack up behind the safety car before going for it. The funny thing with this was I was in the queue for the podium but was able to come back to where I’d been all race when the safety car out. That meant I missed Lewis Hamilton’s crucial pit stop because I didn’t think anyone would stop – why would you stop!? – so I ran to get pictures of the cars behind the safety car. It was all a bit of a debacle and this turned out to be the big story of the race. It’s still hard to understand why Mercedes decided to pit Lewis but watching it back you can see a few errors – he had a slow stop, he probably got caught behind the safety car. All in all, this moment was as big a surprise for the photographers as the fans because Lewis had been leading all race and suddenly was third.

Nikon D4s | Nikkor 70-200 F2.8 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F5.6.

Contrasting emotions

This is a wider shot which really works because of the contrasting emotions for all three men. Everyone knew that he was a bit peeved off and when he came in and whacked the number three board I thought there could be fireworks. He’d also stopped at the circuit at Portier, so there was clearly a lot of emotion immediately after the race. Maybe he was thinking of getting out of his car and going straight to his flat! He definitely didn’t want to do that podium. He turned up, looked glum, didn’t want to spray champagne, didn’t want the trophy – in fact he left the trophy behind! It was just sat there and then they just picked it up and handed it to the Mercedes guys. He walked away from the celebrations with a bottle of champagne by his side. It was all a bit strange, this podium, it was Nico celebrating, Seb smiling and Lewis with a glum face. But anybody in that situation would have been worse; he was actually quite calm and professional about the whole thing.

Nikon D4s | Nikkor 200-400 F4 ED | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F5.6.

Hat-trick celebrations

This is a classic Rosberg celebration shot. I don’t understand how some fans could be upset with the exuberance he celebrated with. At that moment, he’s won a race – it’s only after the race is done he would have seen the bare facts and he did admit on numerous occasions that the win was the luckiest of his career. Rosberg has a great habit of celebrating by swooping his arms around while pointing his fingers in the air. After all, he joined pretty elite company by winning this race for the third time in a row – only Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Graham Hill managed that. The celebration was good and you need to have that contrast between him and Lewis! I wanted to show it because that what this sport is about, winning and losing. His celebration reminds me of what German fans do with their flags before a football game, swinging them around their heads. It reminded me of what I saw when I watched Manchester United play Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp in 1999… though they all disappeared pretty quickly when United beat them that night!

Nikon D4s | Nikkor 70-200 F2.8 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F11.

Catch me if you can

You never know the sort of shot you’re going to get standing here. We always tend to put someone there in case there is a crash at Ste Devote, because if you’re on the tower there you’d actually miss anything that happens as it’s so small. It’s one of those positions where you’re never sure what could happen, all it takes is one tap and you’ve got a huge car park there. This is a nice shot as you have the contrast of colour and a real impression of how close they all file through that corner. It can be quite hair-raising because they’re coming at you flat-out as they file up the hill.

Nikon D4s | Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F10.

Champagne Charlie

I’m really pleased with how this photo turned out. Without an elevated podium you never know what you’re going to get in Monaco but this captures quite nicely the moment – the melee for the photographers and the joy and eleation on Rosberg’s face. It’s a good shot and always nice to have the champagne celebrations on the track as it’s a bit different to the rest of the calendar.

Nikon D4s | Nikkor 24-70 F2.8 | Exposure time: 1/250s | Aperture: F16.

Here come the girls

This is one one of what they call the Kardashian sisters – but she’s not Kardashian, she’s a Jenner, Kendall Jenner. There’s rumours that she’s Lewis Hamilton’s new girlfriend, actually. Monaco is a great place for celebrity sightings obviously but I got on the grid quite late as we had people on the grid anyway. You’ve got to walk the way down the pits to get to the grid, which is quite a long walk. When I got onto the grid I snapped a picture of Cara Delevingne, who had a lot of attention and was holding Lewis’ pit number alongside those grid boys. Then I saw this entourage of four girls strutting their stuff down the grid, it was like four catwalk models walking towards us and I papped a load of pictures off. I asked them if they didn’t mind stopping so I could get a better snap but they weren’t having any of it – I imagine they get quite tired of people with cameras.


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