Life Through a Lens: Brazilian Grand Prix

Life Through A Lens: Brazilian Grand Prix

Mark Sutton talks ESPN through his favourite shots from the dramatic Brazilian Grand Prix.

Collision Course

Camera – Nikon D5 body | Lens – Nikkor 200-400mm F4 | Shutter speed – 1/1000th of a second | Aperture – F5.6 | ISO – 1600

I was at Turn 10, the hairpin, but I kept seeing people crash and thought ‘I’m in the wrong place here’. So I moved up the circuit and it’s honestly mindblowing how quick they are going in the rain, pulling out of the spray of other cars. I was just photographing the photographers standing trackside and then saw Massa have a moment at the top of the corner. He clipped the barrier and I just kept shooting — I had the 400 on so it was a bit tight. When he hit the barrier it was more frontal, so it was a bit of the front wing came off. I didn’t really see what happened after that — I just knew I had to get the wide angle on for the next shots of him getting out of the car.

Massa’s Final Farewell

 Camera – Nikon D5 body | Lens – 70-200mm F2.8 | Shutter speed – 1/500th of a second | Aperture – F5.6 | ISO – 1600

This was a walk of emotion, coming out of the car and waving to the crowd over the barrier. Then one of the marshals gave him a flag and I thought ‘well, that’s the shot,’ as he walked away. I couldn’t get any closer because that was the track, he actually shouldn’t have been where he was but it created a great picture. I could see the flag was floating above his head so I was waiting for a shot of when I could see his face. When I first sent these back at the media centre I was in such a rush I don’t think I sent the best shot from this sequence, I sent one where you can’t see his face.

I was changing lenses in the rain and it was a rush, to be honest. You’re waiting for those moments to happen and when they do you have a smile on your face in the background, you just go with it. There was still the rest of the race to finish so you have to focus on your job.

Rain Delay

Camera – Nikon D5 body | Lens – Nikkor 70-200 F2.8 | Shutter speed – 1/320th of a second | Aperture – F11 | ISO – 1600

The rain delay made for a chaotic afternoon. The race was on-again off-again several times and it made it chaotic. One good shot to come from it was the train of cars behind the safety car. It’s not often you get this sort of shot in a race — there’s obviously the formation lap, but this had the added benefit of the spray, creating a good picture.

Because of the chaos of the race I missed Marcus Ericsson’s crash as I had been positioned elsewhere on the circuit.

20 Down, One To Go

Camera – Nikon D5 body | Lens – Nikkor 200-400mm F4 | Shutter Speed – 1/640th of a second | Aperture – F6.3 | ISO – 1000

This was a good shot between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg on the podium. Often in these last few years we haven’t seen much between them in the last few seasons when they’ve been up there, it’s often tense and they sometimes act like the other one isn’t there. This has been the story of the season, they’ve been fighting all year. I think whoever wins they will hug each other and shake hands and say the best man one. I think there’s more respect evident between them this year than in previous years.


Life Through a Lens: U.S.A. and Mexico

Life Through a Lens: U.S.A. and Mexico

F1 photographer Mark Sutton picks his best shots from the U.S. and Mexican Grands Prix

Shoey Victim

Camera body – Nikon D5 | Lens – Nikkor 200-400mm F4 |Shutter speed – 1/640th of a Second | Aperture – F5.6 | ISO – 800

I’ve mentioned on these columns before how great Daniel Ricciardo is for a photographer because he’s always flashing his big toothy grin and generally just having fun. He finished third here and probably could have finished second if it wasn’t for the Virtual Safety Car. He’s obviously said the shoey is now just for wins but it seems like making someone else do one when he finishes second or third is just as big a tradition. I don’t know if the TV cameras picked it up, but Gerard Butler took a can of Red Bull on there as he doesn’t drink, so Ricciardo made him down that instead! He was a great sport about it and it was another fun moment — something that isn’t always the case on the podium when the Mercedes guys are there.

Early Preparations

Camera body – Nikon D5 | Lens – Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8 | Shutter speed – 1/320th of a second | Aperture – F4 | ISO – 400

This is a rare shot of Lewis Hamilton because usually when he’s in the garage, it’s rare that we get a shot of him without his helmet on. This was on Thursday during the pit lane walk, there were lots of fans around and then I heard some noise from outside the Mercedes garage. I wondered what it was, so went over and there was Lewis during a seat fitting — something we don’t often get pictures of him doing. It’s a shot I’m always trying to get, of all the drivers, as it creates a really nice image of man and machine.

Lewis Fans

Camera body – Nikon D5 | Lens – Nikkor 10.5mm Fisheye | Shutter speed – 1/320th of a second | Aperture – F6.3 | ISO – 400

They love Lewis Hamilton in America — he’s super popular and this was actually the view facing away from the podium. I heard lots of “Lewis, Lewis” chants and behind me there’s this huge group of fans there. I decided to switch to a fisheye lens for this one and I think it captures the crowd best. F1 needs more races where there are passionate fans in large numbers and Austin is one of them.

Hola, Mexico

Camera Body – Nikon D5 | Lens – Nikkor 24-70mm F2.8 | Shutter speed – 1/250 of a second | Aperture – F8 | ISO – 400

Esteban Gutierrez loved his first Mexican Grand Prix. He and Sergio Perez were the star attractions throughout the weekend — Perez seemed a bit more used to it after last year but Gutierrez was lapping up all the attention he could, and why not? This was actually just after the national anthem, usually they usher you off the grid at this point and as this was happening I looked to the side of the circuit and Gutierrez was there firing up the fans and doing a little bow. It must be truly special for these guys when they have home support and I thought it was a nice moment before the race that the FOM cameras might not have caught.

Lewis’ Lucky Escape

Camera – Nikon D5 |Lens – Nikkor 200-400mm F4 | Shutter speed – 1/1000th of a second | Aperture – F6.3 | ISO – 400

This is me stood at Turn 1, facing the long pit straight. I think this gives a good indication of just how early Hamilton locked up — he obviously went straight on and missed the Turn 2 apex completely. He clearly had a big issue with his brakes there and the chat after was all about whether he’d gained an advantage, but whatever way you look at it, he was lucky to have come out of Turn 1 unscathed. I didn’t actually see what happened through the corner as, when you’re stationed here, your view is actually restricted somewhat — I heard the crowd reacting to Hamilton going off and Nico Rosberg and Max Verstappen coming together, but was still shooting the back of the field coming through knowing we had a guy stood with a better view of the chicane on the other side.