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.

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