|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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.