• Life Through a Lens

Spray in Sepang

Mark Sutton
April 2, 2014

F1 photographer Mark Sutton walks ESPN through his six favourite shots from the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit.

Camera model: Nikon D4 Exposure time: 1/500s Aperture: F8 Flash compulsory, return light detected Focal length: 42 mm ISO speed: 800 Lens: 24-70mm zoom © Sutton Images
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I really like this one of Nico Rosberg spraying Andy Shovlin. It's a funny picture because it's so much champagne and because he's just standing there taking it. We saw those pictures a few years back when Adrian Newey tried to hide behind the trophy as he's being sprayed, but Shovlin is stood there being absolutely blasted as if it's nothing. If his mouth had been open he probably would have drowned in it. They sprayed the champagne so quickly that the guys who presented the trophy were still on the podium so frustratingly I've had to crop this as there was someone crossing in front of the frame of the original picture.

Camera model: Nikon D4 Exposure time: 1/320 s Aperture: F9 Flash compulsory, return light detected ISO speed: 800 Lens: 24-70mm zoom © Sutton Images
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This is a remarkable picture as the guy without a helmet and wearing shorts is just there during a pit stop. I saw Daniel Ricciardo's stop on the TV and then thought I need to get a picture of this. I ran straight across the media centre with my camera, ran down to Red Bull and shot away as they wheeled him back and then this guy is there. I knew the rules had changed with the helmet and they're really tough on the teams and thought "he's going to get a rollicking for that". It's quite a bizarre and funny picture overall because they you can see them all stood around wondering what the hell is going on, and of course it's not what we expect from Red Bull. I just could not believe the guy was there.

Camera model: Nikon D4 Exposure time: 1/1000 s Aperture: F5.6 No flash ISO speed: 800 Lens: 500mm telephoto © Sutton Images
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I guess this is quite a different shot for a Formula One fan, seeing an actor do the post-race interview. I thought Benedict Cumberbatch brought quite a different feel to the podium, instead of having a former driver or ex-team owner there. He speaks like an actor, too, he exudes and speaks with a lot of confidence which adds to the interviews. He's got that sort of British gentleman approach to things with his suit jacket too so I think it worked really well. Maybe they shouldn't do it every race. If you can make sure they don't swear on the podium then it works to have famous people up there! He presented the trophy on the Porsche race as well and you could see throughout how much he was enjoying the whole occasion.

Camera model: Nikon D4 Exposure time: 1/1000 s Flash compulsory, return light detected ISO speed: 250 Lens: 24-70mm © Sutton Images
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This is just a great shot as it's Mercedes celebrating its first one-two as a team since Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio in 1955. You've also got that Petronas branding all over the picture too which they love so it's a perfect picture for them. I'm not sure why Jock Clear is so central in all of that but he had champagne poured over his head and posed with Lewis and the trophy as well. One of the mechanics was central to it all as well which I thought was odd but maybe it was possibly a birthday or a special occasion. Rosberg was his usual exuberant self but I sense there's a bit of tension brewing between the two drivers. Obviously one has more points than the other and everyone wants to win every race.

Camera model: Nikon D4 Exposure time: 1/500 s Aperture: F5.6 No flash ISO speed: 400 Lens: 70-200mm lens © Sutton Images
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These guys were just completely legless. This was during the team celebration shot and I could hear them shouting as they were being cleared off the track. They were chanting for Kimi Raikkonen so I walked down the pit wall and shouted them over. They came over the first time but a security guard was not having any of it as they were trying to clear the track. I went about half way down and went again and I managed to get them to pose for a picture. They were quite a jolly bunch. There's a real mix of European fans in Malaysia but a lot of fans come over from Denmark, Sweden, Finland and so on and some local fans are dedicated to certain drivers. A lot of people make a hobby of watching F1 and why would you not? They had been drinking all day and all night, that day and the day before, and it was very funny to watch.

Camera model: Nikon D4 Exposure time: 1/1000 s Aperture: F6.3 No flash ISO speed: 800 Lens: 500mm telephoto © Sutton Images
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This is a nice one from before the race. It's something different and nice to see the girls dressed in something different from the traditional outfit. It's obviously Petronas-inspired and Lewis and Nico were pushing that pretty hard in the post-race stuff as well so everyone's a winner! Sometimes the girls can be quite miserable at that time of the race because it's a long day in incredible temperatures but they were smiling and blowing kisses which is nice.

It's a tough day for them in that heat and in those outfits and we can relate as it's a tough day for us as well. It's great for pictures as well to see them smiling and generally enjoying the day.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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