• Life Through a Lens

A memorable return

Mark Sutton
June 26, 2014

F1 photographer Mark Sutton picks his favourite shots from the Austrian Grand Prix

A time for nostalgia

Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F22 | ISO speed: 1000 © Sutton Images
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/1000s |Aperture: F22 | ISO speed: 1000 © Sutton Images

Red Bull did an amazing job getting a bunch of old cars together and filling the cockpits with drivers of a similar vintage. Niki Lauda was in his Ferrari 312T2 and it was great to see him out on track for a few laps before the race alongside other old Austrian drivers, including Gerhard Berger and Helmut Marko. It was a great spectacle and they went out on Saturday night and again on Sunday before the race. Berger was in Jochen Rindt's beautiful Lotus 49 but struggled to get out of the narrow cockpit opening when he stopped on the grid! It was great to see them all back in their overalls, even if they were a bit tighter than in the old days! I think having the classic cars at grands prix is great because the fans love them and they provide that raw sound that is missing this year.

A popular pole

Camera model: Nikon D4 |Exposure time: 1/500s Z Aperture: F13 | ISO speed: 400 | © Getty Images

This was quite special, but when we were waiting in parc ferme we didn't know Felipe Massa had secured pole position so it was quite a surprise when he arrived and started celebrating. They were quick all weekend and it was a special thing to see them take the front row. He was looking right at me in this photo and pumping his fists, so it really gets the across the raw emotion of his first pole since Brazil 2008. People have said that Pat Symonds has created a good vibe in the team on the technical side and in Austria we really saw that start to pay off.

One for the fans

Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F7.1 | ISO speed: 400 © Sutton Images

This photo just shows you the support of the fans as early as Thursday. They are being led by the band and as they went into the pit lane it got a lot narrower and there was nearly a scene from a comedy film as they all got squashed together and nearly fell over themselves. But there was amazing support from all the fans and even on Sunday morning I thought I'd got in early and the stands were already chock-a-block. It was great to see and shows how much support there is from fans in Europe. I think we'll see it in Silverstone as well as there is a pit walk there this year for the first time.

A moment of reflection

Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/640s | Aperture: F5.6 | ISO speed: 2000 © Sutton Images

This was taken before the drivers' parade and Lewis Hamilton was just sat waiting by himself. To the left, out of shot, all the other drivers were talking to each other, but Lewis was just sat there by himself in his own little world. It's not as if he blanks himself from the other drivers all the time, but in this moment he seemed to want to be just by himself with his music and away from any distractions. But the intention was just to get a nice picture of him by himself relaxing.

That winning feeling

Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/500s | Aperture: F10 | ISO speed: 400 © Sutton Images

I'd just taken the photo of parc ferme as the drivers got out the car after of the race and celebrated, and because it's away from the podium, I thought I'd stay where I was and not bother with the traditional podium shot. Instead I saw the team there and thought I'd get this picture of the team celebrating. In order to show the depth of the crowd I just pre-focused and held the camera up above my head, otherwise you just get the people at the front. You can see all the smiling faces and the fist pumping - it is just real emotion. I know there's no team bosses in the photo, but I think it's great to show the mechanics and all the other members of the team who so such a great job at each race.

Champagne shot

Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/640s | Aperture: F9 |ISO speed: 200 © Sutton Images

So after taking the picture of the team, I was directly under the podium. I thought I wouldn't see anything from there, but by chance Nico Rosberg came forward above my head and started spraying the champagne at the team behind me. It's a really clean photo with none of the sponsors you usually get on podium photos, so you can sell it to anybody. I didn't expect to get this photo because of my position, to be honest, so it was great to get something so good from nothing.

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