• Mark Sutton's 2013 photo review

The season in photos - Part two

Mark Sutton
December 16, 2013

F1 photographer Mark Sutton picks his favourite shots from the second half of the season

Belgium - The view from La Source

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This gives you the view from La Source down to Eau Rouge at the start with the old pit and control tower on the right and the grandstands to the left. You can see the Astroturf on the exit, which several of the drivers used. They don't get as much grip on that but it's better than the old days when their race would have been over in a gravel trap. There weren't any big incidents like last year and I think they all made it through unscathed, which is pretty impressive for Spa. This view gives you an essence of some the history of the circuit and why it is still a great challenge for the drivers.

Italy - Alonso's podium

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Keith Sutton: I love this shot. I was on the start gantry - which was a bit of a gamble as I was the only one up there - and it gave me great shots of the crowds on the straight but I had to wait for the drivers to come out to the edge of the podium. All of the ticker tape and streamers went off in front of the grandstand, so that was then behind the podium for me with the angle I had and that meant I was in a great position to capture it all when Alonso and Webber walked out to spray the champagne.

Singapore - Vettel keeping cool

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Keith Sutton: This was shot on Saturday when Sebastian went on to take pole position, and I've seen him do something like this before. I believe it's dry ice that he's got around him and it's releasing out of the cockpit. He's looking so focused as he's staring in to the distance and it just shows what kind of heat the drivers have to deal with as he's not willing to have his helmet on at this stage as he tries to keep cool.

Korea - Webber mania

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The spectators that turn up are definitely keen because you see these banners that they make each year. This time round the Mark Webber fans made a massive effort and you can see all the different slogans relating to his retirement and move to Le Mans. Like a lot of people in F1 I will be sad to see Webber go. We knew him when he first came to England in the Formula Ford days, and like a lot of drivers he used to come round to the office to grab some pictures. In fact, he came to our karting event when he was in F3000 and won it! The nice thing about him is that he's still down to earth and hasn't really changed after all these years.

Japan - Wheel-to-wheel

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Keith Sutton: Towards the end of the race I wandered down to the start-finish straight to capture an image of Sebastian Vettel crossing the line. As I was walking down there, Mark Webber finally made his move on Romain Grosjean for second place and watching that was absolutely unbelievable. The speed they are going at is just incredible, it's difficult to comprehend. You don't always notice it at a corner but when you are that close to the cars on the straight you get an idea of just how quick they are.

India - The champions celebrate

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I tried to get up in to the Paddock Club but it was packed so I thought I'd try something different. I had someone front on and someone side on, so I went just behind the team to the right. Normally, if that was daylight, I'd be thrown out the way because they'd see me and say 'Mark, don't stand there! You're in the bloody picture!' but because it was dark they cuoldn't see me. So I just basically shot with their flashes going off. I did a test exposure first and then let all their flashes light up the team. Their flashes lit the team and I got all the silhouettes of the fours going up and it also shows a bit of the carnage going on.

Abu Dhabi - Mirror image

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Keith Sutton: 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.

USA - Red Bull cowboys

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This was Christian Horner, Adrian Newey and Adrian's girlfriend Amanda all down below the podium. I did parc ferme and then got out of there because there was a big scrum going on, and as I got out I turned round and they were just there joking around. When the drivers came out on to the podium the three of them here were celebrating and swapping hats - Adrian had just taken one off of Christian's head - and they were all very relaxed after Seb's win. It was just something a bit different to see them playing about.

Brazil - A signature celebration

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I was lucky to get this as we were all lined up to take the podium shot just before it happened. I could see that Mark Webber had taken his helmet off on his inlap so I moved to get a shot of him coming down the pit lane, but the next minute Seb started doing celebratory doughnuts on the pit straight. I only had a 300mm lens at that time but I shot it anyway and they all came out pin sharp and I was able to crop them. Fortunately the tyre smoke was blowing in the right direction so you could actually see the car, because sometimes you just get a face full of smoke! You play on your luck and there was a guy next to me shooting on a 600mm, which was the perfect lens to have, but I was stuck with what I had for the podium. It's become a bit of iconic image as Vettel did them at each of the last four races as he took the title in such dominant fashion.

View the first half of Mark Sutton's season review here

www.suttonimages.com/ | www.gpweek.com | Mark on Twitter

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