• Life Through a Lens

Hamilton's Hungary

Mark Sutton
August 1, 2012

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

Ray of sunshine

Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark IV ¦ ISO Speed: 400 ¦ Aperture: F13 ¦ Focal length: 16.0mm ¦ Exposure: 1/500 Sec ¦ Exposure mode: Shutter priority © Sutton Images
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It was just a weird moment in the evening on Friday. It had been raining for a lot of the day but then it cleared but this cloud held there for ages. The sun was quite dramatic just when it was even behind the clouds but then it peered through this little gap and created this halo effect around it; it was really weird. It felt a bit like Independence Day when a spacecraft is about to come through the cloud! It was weird to see in the paddock, and here it's over the McLaren and Mercedes motorhomes. It was pretty apt that it was above McLaren as it's emerging from its own dodgy spell, but this was a case of keeping your eyes open for any opportunity around the circuit at all times of the day.

Kimi's coming

Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark IV ¦ ISO Speed: 200 ¦ Aperture: F8 ¦ Focal length: 500.0mm ¦ Exposure: 1/1000 Sec ¦ Exposure mode: Manual © Sutton Images
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I shot Kimi here from the pit lane exit, as the pit lane dips over a brow as the cars come out. It's a good spot as what often happens is the cars come out and pull over to the side and perform practice starts and burnouts. You've got this sort of shimmering light above the track as they come down, and what I've done here is moved the focus point to the top and motor-driven it as Kimi's come down the pit lane. Sometimes you just look for something different when you're shooting. I've managed to create a backlit effect here so that the light is glistening off the car with the heat haze surrounding it. This was on Saturday morning and with the weather so good we had a good crowd down at the last corner which forms the background as well.

Vettel's not vain

Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark IV ¦ ISO Speed: 800 ¦ Aperture: F4 ¦ Focal length: 500.0mm ¦ Exposure: 1/250 Sec ¦ Exposure mode: Auto © Sutton Images
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I don't know why Sebastian is doing this because he looks a bit stupid! I can understand when the drivers are getting ready and aren't going out then they put their earplugs in but never the balaclava on half of their head. I think drivers are normally quite conscious about their look, but Vettel walks around with his helmet on his head! He walked right to the front of the garage and just stood there with it on his head like that, I suppose what he then does is just push it down when he's ready to get in the car. There's no real point to it though, as the ear plugs are separate to the helmet so it's not like he's receiving communication through his helmet. I remember when Jean Alesi through his helmet in to the crowd after he won the race in Montreal and Ferrari went to get the communications piece back because they thought it was worth more than the helmet! But I just thought this was funny; Seb looks a bit like a smurf with the balaclava as a hat, or Spiderman when it's over his face!

Lewis wins...

Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark IV ¦ ISO Speed: 200 ¦ Aperture: F8 ¦ Focal length: 120.0mm ¦ Exposure: 1/1000 Sec ¦ Exposure mode: Manual © Sutton Images
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I actually shot this from a roof above the podium. I'd seen this roof over the weekend and I wanted to get up there for the podium ceremony, so I managed to wangle my way up. I wasn't sure what sort of shot of the finish I'd get from there as Kimi was still quite close behind and I wondered if Lewis would just drive for the line before celebrating. But he decided to pull over immediately out of the last corner and that's created quite a nice shot because you've got the flag in almost the perfect position; it's not blocked his helmet. The only thing that I'm critical about is the panels in shot - I know they need to be there to prevent debris flying over the pit wall if there's an accident but it's not ideal in this shot. But that's just me looking at how it could be better. It was pot luck really that I got the shot in the first place as I'd only gone up there to capture parc ferme and the podium.

...and Lewis celebrates

Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark IV ¦ ISO Speed: 200 ¦ Aperture: F6.3 ¦ Focal length: 100.0mm ¦ Exposure: 1/500 Sec ¦ Exposure mode: Shutter priority © Sutton Images
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After doing the parc ferme shot when Lewis was saluting his team, and then we managed to get his attention after the podium ceremony. We were just shouting and there were three times he looked up at us, which is good. It creates a great shot because he's looking right at us as he sprays the champagne. I was just swapping between lenses for different shots but it was quite tight; you never actually see where we shoot from but there was five of us up there and the space for five was not good! It was restricted but I pulled a fast one and didn't tell anyone I was going up there. I managed to sort it out just before the race and it turned out to be worth it. Because we have four people there then it's worth me having a go; if I don't get it then I don't get it, but if I do then I'll give it a go and I try to get as much as I can out of the picture. It's all about getting the best pictures at the end of the day and getting something unusual - something from a different angle that nobody else has got - and hopefully that convinces the editors to use the pictures more because they've got something completely different.

A real fanatic

Model: Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark IV ¦ ISO Speed: 200 ¦ Aperture: F4.5 ¦ Focal length: 200.0mm ¦ Exposure: 1/500 Sec ¦ Exposure mode: Shutter priority © Sutton Images
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I think everyone loves Budapest; it's not an expensive place to go, the people are very friendly, it's a beautiful city, the track's quite close, there's not a lot bad to say about it really even if it doesn't create great racing. I'm not sure what nationality this fan is - I got the impression he's British but he could be Finnish for all I know! - and he was parading around after the podium had finished. There's quite a relaxed mentality from security at the circuit and the fans were allowed to climb up there as long as they don't try and get in to the pit lane. It's a great atmosphere; there's a lot of Finns, Swedes, a real mixture of people. There's no Hungarian driver in Formula One anymore but the crowd were still getting behind Pal Kiss who was driving in GP3 - the only Hungarian in a support race. We shoot the support races and there was some great action, especially in the GP3 race on Sunday morning which was run on a drying track, which Pal Kiss finished third in before getting a penalty. We back Kevin Ceccon in that series and he too was having a good race before a poor pit stop, but it was still great entertainment for the fans.

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