Mark Sutton – Life Through The Lens – Italian Grand Prix – Easy Rider

Mark Sutton – Life Through The Lens – Italian Grand Prix – Easy Rider

F1 photographer Mark Sutton picks his favourite photos from the Italian Grand Prix.

Camera model: Taken on Apple iPhone 6

Easy Rider

People always say “always have a camera with you” and photos like this are the reason why. I was leaving the track at the end of the day and luckily I timed my exit alongside Lewis Hamilton. I actually took this on my iPhone, but it just goes to show how far mobile phone technology has come that you can get such a high-quality photo so easily. I took about 58 frames and immediately sent the best to the office when I got in my car to go back to the hotel, which is a great way to work. I couldn’t have got my camera out in time because I would have missed it, it was that quick. I thought he was just going to ride out the paddock, but he stopped and did this burnout for the fans, who had been waiting there all evening to get a glimpse of an F1 driver or two. The atmosphere was amazing because he was so pumped and after the burnout he cruised past the fans, looking like Easy Rider without his helmet on.

Camera model: Nikon D4s Lens | Lens: Nikkor 70-200 F2.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/320s | Exposure F11

Fan favourite

I always look forward to shooting the autograph session, but at Monza they wouldn’t let the photographers in the pit lane. I decided to go up on the podium instead, which hangs out over the pit lane and track itself and had this great view down. I spotted Daniel Ricciardo signing autographs and this super fan I know called Billy Hill, who often attends races but hasn’t been to many this year because his wife has had a baby, passed his trademark shiny helmet through the fans for Ricciardo to sign. Ricciardo signed the helmet and put it on and continued to sign autographs for everyone else! It was very funny and Daniel loves that kind of thing and was posing to have his photo taken with the fans. That’s the sort of drivers we need in F1, people who want to spend time with the fans and don’t care if they look a bit silly. Maybe he will change in time, but he has this great attitude in which he just wants to enjoy life. He doesn’t care about brands and looks, which is very refreshing and lifts the mood wherever he is.

Camera model: Nikon D4s Lens | Lens: Nikkor 70-200 F2.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/320s | Exposure F11

Monza celebrations

The podium ceremony is always a crazy moment at Monza and always creates an atmospheric picture. The tickertape is impressive, but actually quite difficult to shoot through if you are using a long lens to capture the podium celebrations. I knew it was going to happen because I could see the blowers next to us and it was a sea of green when they started, although I don’t what happened to the white and red that complete the Italian tricolore. The stuff was actually in the barrel of the lens, but it was great atmosphere to be a part of. There’s nowhere like Monza and for the drivers to get on that tower and look down over the fans is so special. I still think Silverstone should do a similar thing because they have got the space there to put a podium over the pit lane for all the fans that run on the track at the end. I know it’s a copy, but I still think it would give the fans that little bit extra.

Camera model: Nikon D4s Lens | Lens: Nikkor 70-200 F2.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/1000s | Exposure F8

Wee Jackie

I nearly missed this photo because of a bit of schoolboy error. It was 50 years since Sir Jackie Stewart won his first grand prix at Monza and he marked the occasion by completing a demonstration lap on Saturday in his old BRM. We were told the photoshoot was happening at the finish line, which in my head was at the same point as the start line. But in fact the start and finish line are separated by the length of the grid at Monza, so I was in the wrong place! I was waiting for him to come round and then I saw the chequered flag to show him where to stop down in the distance. The next minute I realised I was in the wrong place and Jackie started getting out the car as I ran down the pit lane to get into position. Fortunately I got there in time to get this photo of him posing with the trophy from 50 years ago, his vintage overalls and original helmet.


Mark Sutton – Life Through The Lens – Belgian Grand Prix – More McLaren Problems

Mark Sutton – Life Through The Lens – Belgian Grand Prix – More McLaren Problems

F1 photographer Mark Sutton picks his favourite photos from the Belgian Grand Prix.

Camera model: Nikon D4S | Exposure time: 1/160s | Aperture: F5.6 | ISO speed: 1600 | Lens: 70-200mm zoom

More McLaren problems

I got a sequence of photos of Ron Dennis in the garage during final practice and this one shows him looking at the rear of the McLaren while the gearbox was removed. He was talking with some engineers and put his hand on his head as if to say ‘What the hell is going on?’ It was quite interesting, but obviously a depressing weekend for them as they took a combined grid penalty between both cars of 105 places. That means nothing in reality as they just started from the back, but it just goes to show they are still very much in the learning process. I guess they thought they’d be better by now because Renault had issues last year but had won three races by the time they left Spa. The Honda boys are obviously struggling right now and the extra power from the Spa updates didn’t really materialise on track last weekend. I guess they will get it right in the end and they are learning the technology, but it’s going to take a long time I think.

Camera model: Nikon D4S | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F6.3 | ISO speed : 200 | Lens: 500mm telephoto

Tyre blowout

This was taken following Nico Rosberg’s tyre blowout on Friday. It’s a funny photo because Rosberg is actually in the cab of the pick-up truck and his car is on the flatbed behind. Of course, we then had Sebastian Vettel’s blowout on Sunday and it was interesting seeing the Mercedes and Pirelli engineers in the garage during FP3 because they were taking a close look at the tyres. At one point Paddy Lowe and all the other guys came off the pit wall to take a look, they were trying to see if the tyre was catching on anything on the car and they marked the tyre with a pen similar to the Petronas colour to see if anything was rubbing against the bodywork. The tyre obviously compresses through Eau Rouge, so if it rubs against the bodywork it could be enough to cause a failure or an issue. Obviously, Mercedes didn’t have any more problems for the rest of the weekend, but they did seem genuinely concerned ahead of qualifying.

Camera model: Nikon D4S | Exposure time: 1/400s | Aperture: F8 | ISO speed : 200 | Lens: 24-70mm zoom

No photos!

I turned up at the final chicane about 20 laps before the end of the race and quickly took some photos of the retired Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo, thinking nothing of it. The next minute all the marshals started telling other photographers not to take any pictures, despite one of them taking pictures with his mobile phone! I had my photos in the bag; some low down ones as well as this one. It seemed the order to stop taking photos had come from race control, but I don’t see why as we are simply documenting what happened in the race.

Camera model: Nikon D4S | Exposure time: 1/160s | Aperture: F5.6 | ISO speed: 1600 | Lens: 70-200mm zoom

Champagne celebrations

I like this photo of Lewis Hamilton spraying champagne in his face following his victory. There were a lot of British fans there, so he seemed quite jolly on the podium. I don’t know if he knew about the stat that he had equalled Senna’s record for 80 podium finishes and is now only two wins away from equalling Senna’s win record, but he was certainly enjoying himself. He kept spraying the champagne at everyone; his engineer and the other drivers, but not the grid girls of course after what happened in China! The photo is almost Senna-esque, although Senna used to pour the remainder of the bottle over his head and cap.