• Mark Sutton's Life Through a Lens

Indian celebrations

Mark Sutton
October 30, 2013

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

Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure: 1/800s | Aperture: F5 | ISO speed: 1100 | Lens: 70-200mm zoom © Sutton Images
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Last year a lot of the drivers moaned that they weren't signing autographs for the fans. So this year what they did was they told all the marshals and officials that they could get things signed but they'd have to go behind the fence on the track. The public are not quite as wild and crazy as the marshals but they were quite excited when certain drivers turned up, but it was a nice set-up. The drivers signed a load of cards as they signed things for the fans, and then when they were done they took the cards and handed them out to the marshals who all went crazy. It created a great buzz and it was nice to hear all the excitement. It's nice to see the drivers giving something back to the fans and the marshals too, who work so hard.

Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure: 1/1000s | Aperture: F10 | ISO speed: 400 | Lens: 24-70mm zoom © Sutton Images
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FP3 had finished and I stepped back on to the pit wall which was a grassy knoll really. That session can be really intense at the end in the pits as they all do practice pit stops; sometimes two cars come in and have to wait, as you can see here. To be a photographer sometimes in the pit lane is quite intense in that session so I just thought if I can step on the pit wall I'll do it because it gets you out of the way and it gives you a different angle. You're shooting against the names that are above the pits, but here I was looking for the blistering on the tyres and there are plenty on the back of the Ferrari.

Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure: 1/1000s | Aperture: F9 | ISO speed: 200 | Lens: 70-200mm zoom © Sutton Images
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Turn 2 is a great position. The great thing about it is that they come through Turn 2, which is a nice picture on its own, and then head uphill to Turn 3. This shot is of the whole field heading up the hill at the start and you can see how wide it is: you can almost get five or sixth cars' width in to there. Some drivers do dive to the inside and it's almost a second first corner, if that makes sense. When you're looking down from Turn 3 everything is a bit backlit, but in this direction the light is just perfect and it creates something different.

(Top Image)Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure: 1/640s | Aperture: F11 | ISO speed: 1250 | Lens: 500mm telephoto © Sutton Images
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We always have four people at every race and we had military planning in place for the end of the race, and for parc ferme we had someone doing it head on and Keith doing it side on, but he was also going to follow Vettel wherever he went as we expected him to be in parc ferme. Patrick - our other photographer - was doing the chequered flag shot, and I was doing the podium from the pit wall. I jumped off the pit wall to get some nice shots of Rosberg in the pit lane and then I thought 'Where's Vettel?' before I could hear the doughnuts happening! I won't repeat what I said in my head! I jumped back on the pit wall and shot him but just got smoke, so the better shots came after he got out of the car. It was a serious lottery and I you either get it or you don't and on this occasion it didn't quite happen for me.

Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure: 1/640s | Aperture: F4 | ISO speed: 1250 | Lens: 600mm telephoto © Associated Press
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I love these emotions. Vettel was alright on the podium but Grosjean was unbelievable! He was waving his hands up to try and get everyone excited; what a result to come all the way from 17th. It was a great drive and he's had this incredible run of form since the end of the European season where everyone was ready to write him off and he's just thrown it back at them. This picture just shows pure emotion on the podium, it was great to see him come on and gee up the crowd and his team. I was expecting that of Vettel but got it from Grosjean instead.

Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure: 1/60s | Aperture: F7.1 | ISO speed: 1600 | Lens: 24-70mm zoom © Sutton Images
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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.

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