• Life Through a Lens

Under a setting sun

Mark Sutton and Keith Sutton
November 6, 2013

F1 photographers Mark Sutton and Keith Sutton pick their six favourite shots from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Mark Sutton Camera model: Nikon D4, Exposure time: 1/1000s, Aperture: F9, ISO speed: 1000, Lens: 500mm Telephoto © Sutton Images
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I managed to capture these images during the practice session. Sebastian Vettel wandered out of his garage, which is quite unusual , but allowed me to get a good shot of him looking down the pit lane. He walked out and I just followed him round, able to get him in a variety of poses and make use of the good light. By contrast Fernando was in the back of his garage so I had to shoot into the garage with my 500mm lens. He was pulling really funny expressions and I think it was after his first lap out and he wasn't happy with his car. He was talking to his engineer and remonstrating, but he hasn't really been happy all year, has he? I think it shows two sides to the story of this season.

Mark Sutton Camera model: Nikon D4, Exposure time: 1/640s, Aperture: F5, ISO speed: 2000, Lens: 24-70mm Zoom © Sutton Images
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I managed to get this position for the podium by standing up in the paddock club. I had a couple of my colleagues down below so it was nice to get this photo from a different vantage point so you could see the crowd in parc ferme. I got some good photos looking down on the celebrations and you wouldn't have got that from lower down. You get an idea of how many team members are down there, mixed in with the media and the marshals and then the fans in the grandstand. It's very atmospheric and it's a great moment to capture.

Mark Sutton Camera model: Nikon D4, Exposure time: 1/1250s, Aperture: F4, © Sutton Images
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I positioned myself for this shot in order to get a photo of him crossing the line. But as he went past the chequered flag it wasn't out at that particular moment. So it wasn't that great a picture. I could see all the people on the pit wall so I thought I'd try that instead as they were leaning over the gap in the fence that the marshals use to recover cars when they break down. There's no protective fencing there so the team can go there and wave, salute and raise the celebratory finger to Vettel. You can actually see Red Bull young driver Antonio Felix da Costa in there celebrating as well on the far right. It's something different and that's what we're looking for.

Keith Sutton Camera model: Nikon D4, Exposure time: 1/4000s, Aperture: F5.6, ISO speed: 200, Lens: 10.5mm Fish Eye © Sutton Images
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I liked to think I discovered this kind of photo in the first year. Due to our relationship with the track I was able to go up there in the first year and do that shot, but when people see it it's something they want to do themselves. On this occasion I took my Fish Eye lens up there and what I noticed many years ago is that, when you're leaning over, there is this glass balcony that offers a reflection and that's why I particularly like this one. It's taken from the Sky Bar, which is not open to the public during the sessions, so it's quite easy to work up there and get the many shots you can take from the top of the hotel. The architecture of the building really lends itself to photos and with the Fish Eye it really works because you can get more in.

Keith Sutton Camera mode: Nikon D4, Exposure time: 1/800s, Aperture: F4.5, ISO speed: 400, Lens: 70-200mm Zoom © Sutton Images
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This photo is all about getting a start shot that is not the normal one from the outside of the first corner by trying to get something a bit different and going into the back of the grandstand with the crowd. The other thing I had to do before the race is shoot the grid and it's quite an effort to get off the grid and into position in time for the start, and I just about arrived there in time for the warm-up lap. The light is really nice at 17:00 at the start of the race and it shows that the fans get great views from the grandstands too.

Keith Sutton Camera model: Nikon D4, Exposure time: 1/500s, Aperture: F5.6, ISO speed: 400, Lens: 24-70mm Zoom © Sutton Images
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There were a lot of celebrities and VIPs at the track on race day. In the first shot you can see Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy with Sir Jackie Stewart. The great thing about Jackie is that he always introduces you properly and tells both people a bit about where the other is from and what they do. Of course, I know who Chris is and he's been at a number of races now as well as taking part in the odd celebrity race here and there. The grid itself was mad, because you had Jean Todt doing his walkabout with his people and then Bernie Ecclestone came on with all of his people. He had King Mohammed VI, King of Morocco along with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi plus an entourage of nearly 50 people. He marched them onto the grid and then took them all to see Sebastian Vettel! There were so many people around me that I had to go a bit closer in on that shot, but as we know Bernie is a big fan of Seb. And the great thing about Seb is that he always seems to be able to deal with whatever is thrown at him, even just a few minutes before a race!

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