Life Through a Lens: Spielberg and Silverstone (Austrian & British GP’s)

Life Through a Lens: Spielberg and Silverstone (Austrian & British GP’s)

Mark Sutton talks ESPN through his favourite shots from the Austrian and British Grands Prix

Ferrari’s Season In A¬†Shot

Camera model: NIKON D5 | Exposure time: 1/1600s | Aperture: F5.6 | ISO speed: 400 | Lens: 500mm telephoto.

This was just a bizarre one. I was walking behind the photo tower and there was a huge bang, I thought ‘what the hell was that’ thinking a car had hit a barrier. By the time I got around there the car was just sat in the middle of the track so I poked my camera through the fence. There was a nice sequence of him climbing out of the car. He wanted to run across the main straights to the pits but they wouldn’t let him. This is my favourite shot of the sequence because you’ve got the Mercedes in the distance and this picture probably sums up Ferrari’s season so far — lots of little issues and wasted opportunities while Mercedes have stayed out in front.

Procar Race

Camera model: NIKON D5 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F13 | ISO speed: 1000 | Lens: 70-200mm zoom with 1.4 converter.

People love these Procar races, it was amazing seeing the reaction on social media to this race. This is something they used to do on a regular basis, putting drivers into one car for special races which formed its own championship. In Austria a bunch of the old guys went out, including Niki Lauda, on what was a bit more of a parade than a race. It was great to hear the roar of the engines, the pure power of a normally-aspirated engine.

It was a pretty good spectacle. Marc Surer went off on the first lap and then we saw him in the paddock trying to hide his face from everyone, he looked quite embarrassed. It was great to see some of the old timers there, they certainly enjoyed themselves being back in them. I’d love to see them doing something like this for modern F1 drivers because the fans enjoy it, it’s a bit different.

Awkward Halo

Camera model: NIKON D5 | Exposure time: 1/400s | Aperture: F4.5 | ISO speed: 1600 | Lens: 70-200mm zoom.

This was before Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari tested the Halo device at Silverstone. I think I captured this moment quite well. We obviously got the standard pictures of him going in and out of the garage with the Halo on but this a shot of him actually squeezing in and out of the car. This shows how awkward it is to get out, one of the main concerns about the device. Halo pretty much is the size of the cockpit but there’s another barrier to overcome for the driver or for a marshal extracting him from the car. One he had got out his foot nearly got caught on it as well, highlighting further reasons it perhaps needs revaluating before a decision is made.

Safety Car Start

Camera model: NIKON D5 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F9 | ISO speed: 200 | Lens: 70-200mm zoom.

It was pretty surreal being on the grid when this sudden downpour occurred. Everyone was scrambling around for new tyres, trying to not get their cockpits wet, finding umbrellas for their VIPs, it was a bit ridiculous! It was a shame — and controversial — they started under the Safety Car but these two shots show just how bad the spray was for those further back in the pack.

The first few laps were pretty chaotic because people changed immediately for intermediates, knowing it was already drying quite quickly. The only thing annoying about this picture is that you can see what looks like an empty grandstand in the background — it does not give a fair reflection of the Silverstone crowd at all. You can see the packed grandstand to the left, the one opposite the pit lane.


Camera model: NIKON D5 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F6.3 | ISO speed: 250 | Lens: 500mm telephoto.

It was great seeing Lewis Hamilton’s celebrations at Silverstone. He genuinely went beyond what is expected of most drivers when they win a race, engaging with the fans and generally looking like he was having the time of his life. The champagne shots like this are always good fun as the drivers put aside any differences of frustrations and enjoy themselves on the podium for a brief moment. With the pendulum swinging between Hamilton and Nico Rosberg it’s important to get as many different shots of the pair as possible.


Life Through a Lens: Montreal and Baku

Life Through a Lens: Montreal and Baku (Canadian & European GPs)

Mark Sutton talks ESPN through his favourite shots from the Canadian and European GPs

Winning Leap

Camera model: Nikon D5 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F4 | ISO speed : 400 | Lens: 500mm Telephoto

This is a nice shot. I was stood on the podium tower and had a really good spot in the middle because I ran like hell to get there. You never know whether you’ll get a good position because FOM take up a lot of space with their boxes and cameras. I shot him on the 500mm as he came round the corner and parked up. He did this boxing celebration with reference to Muhammad Ali, jumped in the air and did this big salute. You can tell he’s happy even in mid air. I shot on the 500mm, which was the perfect lens and didn’t require much cropping. The result is a great celebration photo that tells a story of the Canadian Grand Prix.

Plastic Bag

Camera model: Nikon D5 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F4.5 | ISO speed : 100 | Lens: 500mm Telephoto

This was really weird. I didn’t actually know what it was on his car until I got back to the media centre and looked at it in detail. I thought it was a bag, but I wasn’t really sure. Baku is called the windy city and it lives up to its name. As a result there was a bit of debris on the track, and although they did a good job of cleaning it every night, there is nothing you can do if it blows on the track during the race. In this instance it looked like a big blue bin liner and it got stuck on the suspension arm of Sebastian Vettel’s car. As he came onto the straight he hit a bump and it went up and split, it was very weird and lucky that no other car hit it.

Passing Move

Camera model: Nikon D5 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F6.3 | ISO speed : 200 | Lens: 500mm Telephoto

It’s a long pit straight in Baku so you can see them coming a long way away and get great photos of slipstreaming and the cars using DRS. This was great to see three cars alongside each other, especially as it’s three different cars. Photo wise, I think it was one of the best overtaking manoeuvres of the weekend. To have them battling into that corner is great and it’s because the track is so wide at that point. After the corner it narrows and that’s where Max Verstappen got screwed by the other two.

On The Way To The Grid

Camera model: Nikon D5 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F7.1 | ISO speed : 200 | Lens: 70 – 200mm Zoom

The grid girls had to walk from the media centre in the Hilton hotel to the grid across this central plaza area. This was taken ahead of the GP2 race and presented a great opportunity to capture some of the glamour of F1 with a nice backdrop of the beautiful buildings you have all around the centre of Baku. They were striding across the square in what was almost a military style, which created a different but stylish photo.

Podium Pose

Camera model: Nikon D5 | Exposure time: 1/500s | Aperture: F5.6 | ISO speed : 800 | Lens: 70 – 200mm Zoom with 1.4 Extender

Nico Rosberg received a beautiful trophy for his efforts in Baku. It was made to look like a ball of fire because Azerbaijan is known as the Land of Fire. It also has the colours of the flag on it and it was beautifully made. The drivers do love a different trophy and I think this offers that because it looks like a torch. Nico does this thing where he builds up the anticipation with the crowd before he lifts the trophy and they all cheer when he holds it above his head. I saw that it took pride of place on the plane home to Monaco, which he shared with some of the other drivers.