• Life Through a Lens

Feuds, shunts and champagne

Mark Sutton
May 28, 2014

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

A friendly feud

Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F14 | ISO speed: 400 | Lens: 24-70mm zoom © Sutton Images

This shot was taken ahead of the drivers' parade, which I normally take photos of before going to the first corner tower for the start, but because there are three towers in Canada there is not so much of a rush. I was waiting with my long lens to do a shot as the drivers came past with the crowd or the blue sky in the background and then the two Mercedes drivers stopped for an FOM interview. Both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg started waving to the crowd, so I legged it over there and snapped a load of pictures, including this one with Lewis with his arm on Nico. I'm not sure Nico was too happy about it, but I think the PR exercise has kicked in from Mercedes and Hamilton's management, XIX Entertainment, following Monaco. They probably gave him a bollocking after all the friction in Monaco because Mercedes aren't that way and would not want to put up with his attitude. It's bad PR at the end of the day, so I think he made an effort to be more pally with Rosberg in Canada.

Fisheye Button

Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/1250s | Aperture: F8 | ISO speed: 200 | Lens: 10.5mm Fisheye © Sutton Images

This was something a bit different. You don't normally get to be close to the cars outside in the daylight, but this was in FP3 after Jenson Button had come back from his last run. I like to mix it up because it's easy to get into a routine and always end up with the same sort of pictures. I thought I'd take my Fisheye lens out to do something a bit different and wanted to get this shot close in to the cockpit. Obviously you have to get very close to get this sort of shot with a Fisheye, so I waited until he'd stopped and I took it as the team jacked him up and put the car on a board to manoeuvre him into the garage. I took about ten frames with different angles using the Fisheye and he didn't seem too concerned. Because he has his helmet visor down it almost looks like he could be in an actual pit stop and the light is perfect so you can see plenty of detail. I don't use the Fisheye that often because it can be a bit too much to be honest, but this is a different picture and a different angle that I think works nicely.

Blowing kisses

Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/3200s | Aperture: F4 | ISO speed: 4000 | Lens: 500mm Telephoto © Sutton Images

This one looks like Sebastian Vettel is blowing me a kiss, but he's just pulling one of his funny expressions in the cockpit. To be honest, I didn't even know I'd got this shot, but when I went through all the frames I thought it was funny and decided I'd put it up on the website. The drivers probably hate having their picture taken like this. Lewis Hamilton, for example, apparently doesn't like pictures taken when he just has his balaclava on. I don't know why, but you'll notice when he puts it on in the garage he always faces the reflective garage wall, which may be just to make sure the balaclava is on the straight on his head. Seb, however, doesn't seem to give a damn and I think he actually looks like a fighter pilot or an astronaut in this photo because of the headphone pods on the side. But I like funny pictures when you can get hold of them, so I like this frame.

Fast start

Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F11 | ISO speed: 200 | Lens: 70-200mm Zoom © Sutton Images

Lewis Hamilton got alongside Nico Rosberg at the start and attempted to go around the outside in the hope of getting the inside line at Turn 2. Of course he didn't quite pull it off and he went a bit wide, letting Sebastian Vettel through for second. It was an interesting moment because you can see how much kerb Rosberg had to take and that can often make a driver lose control a bit. But it was good to see the Mercedes drivers being aggressive and giving it a go right from the start of the race. Hamilton later retired with his MGU-K and brake issues and I'd noticed early in the weekend that a lot of the cars were running extra cooling because Montreal is so tough on the brakes.

A big shunt

Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F7.1 | ISO speed: 200 | Lens: 500mm telelphoto © Sutton Images

I took this from the podium tower, which is a long way away from the scene of the accident. A lot of smoke appeared so it's not the clearest picture, but the great thing about it is that the marshal has put the thumbs up. Perez hit the barrier twice before the car came to a complete halt, but I didn't actually see the impact because I was climbing up the ladder to the podium tower. It was frustrating as a photographer because I'd been doing the rear shot of Turn 1 for the two previous laps. It's one of those things where you can get caught out, but my next job was to shoot the podium so unfortunately I missed it.

Winning smile

Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F6.3 | ISO speed: 200 | Lens: 70-200mm Zoom © Sutton Images

This just sums up Daniel Ricciardo all over - the big cheesy grin on top of the podium. He's been looking good all year and has been ahead of Sebastian Vettel, with a big rise through the ranks since leaving Toro Rosso. It's similar to the route Seb took when he left Toro Rosso, but of course he had a more competitive car when he first arrived at Red Bull. We'll see how Ricciardo gets on from now, but of course Mercedes will bounce back once they get on top of the problem they had in Canada. But Dan was a deserved winner and you have to take the opportunities you can and make the most of them. It's not his first year in F1 but he's still been a revelation in the Red Bull, although it makes you wonder what some of the other Red Bull junior drivers - like Jaime Alguersuari and Vitantonio Liuzzi - would have achieved if they'd been given competitive cars.