- Life Through a Lens - Mark Sutton
F1 photographer Mark Sutton picks his six favourite shots from the chaotic Malaysian Grand Prix
This picture almost looks black and white due to the rain; I was actually shooting it from a hospitality unit! You try to shoot these pictures because you see people walking up and down with umbrellas - the odd one - some walking and some running, but obviously you don't want to get too wet because it was an absolute downpour. They have these new paddock buildings in Malaysia with an overhang so I was standing under there and that kept me dry. I was just shooting with a long lens through the trees, and I saw this person walking down from Toro Rosso so managed to get them. It was very bizarre because we got there in the morning - beautiful sunshine - and then later in the day this massive black cloud came over, exactly like race day. Thursday and Sunday were very similar days when we had these massive downpours, and I suppose this is a typical Malaysia picture shooting down the paddock with the rain bouncing off the concrete and you can see how dark it is in the picture.
I did this position last year and I thought I'd go back for another crack. I didn't have the same lens but it's just amazing how they come in to that corner so damn quick and there's a slight camber under braking. These tended to be the quick laps when they're looking to put a fast time in - as you can see they're on the softer medium compound - and you can actually read the Pirelli because it's locked up and frozen the tyre. With the Red Bull shot you can see two plumes of smoke as if Webber has locked up, eased off the brakes a touch but then locked up again. I took these on a 500mm handheld, so just swinging round and following them through the corner as they come in to the last corner on the circuit. It was a massive lock-up by Kobayashi; he's locked up before he's made the corner. I like how you get the steering wheel leaning over and the driver's helmet right down on the side of the cockpit as he tries to get the car to turn in despite locking up, it creates a great picture. My back was killing afterwards though having held a 5kg lens for so long and swinging it round the corner!
Massa v Button
This was a good little battle during the race, but they're only fighting for 15th place! Button had used his DRS up to turn one as had Ricciardo, and Button was on the outside for turn one which would give him the inside line in to turn two. They came round side-by-side around the whole corner, and obviously Hamilton and Massa had a number of incidents last year when they touched, but it was good to see Massa racing side-by-side. They just held their lines and then Button found his way through, and it was a great opportunity to get a number of shots. It's just a shame that the weather was a bit dull for the images, but the light was starting to improve. You're stationed there though as you're looking for those opportunities of overtaking manoeuvres and potential crashes and obviously this could have been a key moment even though it turned out to only be for 15th place.
I shot this from the same location as Perez. The difficult part in these situations is when you get three cars going back at the same time and you've got emotions from the three people. I think Hamilton just went over and congratulated Perez and that was pretty much it. Obviously Alonso won and he arrived a little bit later than Perez but at that point Perez was celebrating with his team so I had this quandary of "who the hell do you shoot?!" So I was shooting Perez and looked over to see Alonso stood on his car so fired off about five frames. It's nice when you capture someone else's flash, it sort of lights the subject - because it was quite dark at the end, a really dull light. So it just lifts it when you get this side flash. You can see all the photographers along the barrier and someone's flash has just gone off and lit it really nicely. It shows emotion as Alonso holds up his steering wheel and bows to the team.