Life Through a Lens: Malaysian Grand Prix

Life Through a Lens: Malaysian Grand Prix
F1 photographer Mark Sutton talks ESPN through the best shots from the Malaysian Grand Prix, including Kevin Magnussen’s scary pit-lane fire and Lewis Hamilton’s potentially title-deciding engine failure.

Magnussen’s Pit-Lane Fire

Sutton Images
Rubio/Sutton Images
Mark Sutton/Sutton Images

Camera model: NIKON D5 | Exposure time: 1/800 s | Aperture: F14 | ISO speed : 1000

This was a quick moment and one of our photographers, Jose Rubio, was right there to capture it as Kevin Magnussen’s car caught fire. He did a great job of capturing how quickly Magnussen had to get out the car. When this is happening in front of you, you just snap away at the moment, you don’t really have time to think too much about it.

When this happened, I ran down to the pit-lane and saw Jose. He said he had caught the fire and so he went back to the media centre to upload them — when you have images like that, speed is key. It meant I was there to take pictures of the aftermath as they put the car out. It was spectacular, a bit like a warzone, there was dust everywhere… some people weren’t keen to get that close to it. We managed to get both the fire and the aftermath, giving us a nice sequence of shots that did really well on our social media channels and went quite viral. It also reginited the debate about Halo and whether he would have been hampered in getting out of the car with it on his car — an important debate if Halo is to come in for 2018 as planned.

Hamilton’s Heartbreak

Sutton Images
Mark Sutton/Sutton Images
Rubio/Sutton Images

This was another one caught by Jose, who was on the inside of the corner and snapped it as Hamilton came through the corner, head in hands. It could be an iconic shot from the season — a bit like Michael Schumacher’s engine going in China in 2006. Like the Magnussen shot, when you get this kind of moment happening in front of you that’s all you can do. We had some trouble uploading the shot afterwards, which meant it wasn’t immediately available to us.

I was stood on the exit of the corner and was able to get Hamilton climbing out of the car and kneeling down in a prayer position. The last one is a significant picture for us: Lewis shared it on his Instagram feed with an explanation of his feelings and a defence of Mercedes after the race. He’s the most followed driver there by a long way, and it was his most “liked” shot ever — meaning it must be the most successful social F1 image ever. It tells an amazing story about that moment, his feelings.

The Shoey

Mark Sutton/Sutton Images
Mark Sutton/Sutton Images

Camera model : Nikon D5 | Exposure time: 1/1640 s | Aperture: F5.6 | ISO speed: 400 | Lens: 70-200mm zoom with 1.4 converter

Everyone loves Daniel Ricciardo and when he does stuff like this is not hard to see why. I think everyone wanted to see him win a race after what happened in Spain and especially Monaco. He’s got this infectious personality and it’s so nice to see his excitement on the podium. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have looked slightly reserved and unemotional on the podium in recent times but Ricciardo looks completely different — like every win is his first.

The shoey is becoming super popular and it suits his personality perfectly. There were lots of Australian fans there and as soon as he arrived they were chanting “Shoey! Shoey! Shoey!” When he won, I knew he’d said he would only do it if he won again so I was prepared for the shoey — I didn’t expect him to make all three of them to do it as well! It was a great sight, especially when Mark Webber then threw the shoe off the podium!

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