|Mark Sutton – Life Through The Lens – Brazil and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Rubber down|
It’s rare to catch drivers giving a full burnout in the pit box because sometimes there’s already rubber down and they don’t need to put down as much. They tend to come in and do these practice pit stops, you can see the guy has got his finger on the button ready to give Kimi Raikkonen the green light to go again. They tend to do it all around the same time at the end of the session and you can be in two pit boxes at the same time, so the rear of one and the front of another. The teams can fret about that a bit because they don’t want you ruining their pit stop practices so you’ve got to be careful to stay out of their way, so sometimes you miss out on these opportunities.
King of the parade
Lewis Hamilton turned up to the driver parade last and went to the front of the truck without saying much to anyone else — every driver has their own way and that’s something he does quite a lot. It’s bizarre how they do it in Brazil, they go the wrong way down the pit lane and then turn around at the end and comes down the track. On this occasion Lewis went straight to the top of the track and was lapping up the applause of the fans. This weekend he had the special Ayrton Senna helmet and the Brazil cap and I think he really appreciates those local fans and enjoys racing in Brazil, even though he’s still never won there.
A team victory
I really like this shot from Brazil. This mechanic is James Waddell, who has probably been around the paddock for 20-25 years. He was at the current Mercedes team in the Honda and BAR days, and was at other teams before that. He’s started to grow his moustache so it curls up on the ends, he’s always up for a laugh and one of those guys in the paddock I’ve got to know quite well. What’s nice about this is that, in the old days, it always used to be the same people up there — Ron Dennis or Adrian Newey, whoever the main guy was — but now they are spreading it out between different people within the team. It’s good that they give appreciation to different people in the team who are away from the spotlight but still doing a very important job.
This is from the Ferrari garage during the practice session in Abu Dhabi. The drivers are always boiling hot in those cockpits and for some reason they are only ever concerned with cooling their face rather than anywhere else, I guess that’s the important part. When they are on the track they can get the air through the helmet as well so maybe it’s to simulate that. You can see the curly jet cooling tube here next to Vettel, who has his usual steely look about him when he’s sat in there. These are always shots I like taking because you get the good mix of human emotion along with them being in the car, which you can’t see once the visor is down.
For this year they had coloured the tunnel on the pit lane exit in the colours of the United Arab Emirates for the 44th anniversary of its independence. The number was quite prominent throughout the weekend, including trackside during the race. I stayed around for the celebrations the following week and they were quite spectacular. This pit lane shot is always a good one because it’s so unique — Herman Tilke gets criticised for some of his circuits but this design is a really one and a good part of the F1 calendar, I think. We saw one GP2 driver get this pit exit completely wrong during the weekend and end up in the wall but we haven’t seen that from a Formula One car yet.
The man in form
This is Nico Rosberg celebrating with his half of the Mercedes garage, his mechanics. I was in a helicopter for most of the race doing different shots so I came down after the chequered flag, downloaded everything and by the time I had I thought I should go out to do this in the pit lane. I managed to find quite a good spot, did the usual whole team shot and then you get Lewis or Nico posing with their whole team. There’s raw emotion on Nico’s face and as a photographer you want to find pictures which tell this sort of story about a weekend and this is quite nice to explain the end of Rosberg’s season.