Baku is quite a lovely city with charming old buildings lining the track and it was good to be back here again for round 4 of the 2018 F1 season. I wasn’t going to do this event, but I decided last week that bugger it, I’ll go and go I did, arriving here yesterday afternoon. Unfortunately my luggage failed to arrive with me, in fact, I’ve been in the clothes I flew in for nearly 48 hours and half of my photo gear was in the misplaced suitcase. I’m told I’ll have the bag by 5am tomorrow morning. We’ll see.
Today the sun shone, providing some nice photo opportunities. For a start, our media centre is the ballroom of the Hilton Hotel that is in the middle of the track. Here it is reflected in a puddle. And here it is at the far end of the paddock. Given the cars aren’t on the track today, the challenge photographically is to find a shot that doesn’t involve the drivers so we all look for nice light on interesting stuff, like these Ferrari thingies. And this barrier tape in front of the Haas garage.Before lunch today, around half the drivers walked (or cycled) the track. This section of the track is perilously tight; don’t expect any overtakes here but it is one of my favourite sectors on the whole tour.Above, Marcus Ericcson walks past the castle which makes a great backdrop when the cars are on track.
I spent some time photographing arriving drivers this morning and caught Pierre Gasly, one of the youngest of the 20 drivers, catching up with Sebastian Vettel.
I was surprised later in the day to get an email from Pierre asking if he could use the pic on his social media and tag/credit me. He was alerted by a couple of people who spotted it on my daily galleries. The picture was duly sent and should appear soon, of course this sort of exposure leads to increased traffic through my website which is always good for business.
Yesterday I sat next to Kevin Magnussen on the Azerbaijan flight from Dubai (he was smart enough not to check any luggage in). Today he was one of three drivers in the press conference. He didn’t get too many questions though as most were aimed at Daniel after his last win. There were also plenty of questions about where he’ll end up next year but no announcements were forthcoming which enables the media to continue to speculate. Seb looked smooth in the afternoon light. Fernando climbed the stairs up to his private paddock retreat while Daniel Ricciardo was perfectly framed by the Marriot hotel just outside the circuit.The locals were rehearsing the pre-race entertainment and looked resplendent (and proud) in their costumes. I liked the shot below of Lance Stroll shaking hands with past great Jean Alesi in the paddock. Below, the Ferrari crew descended the stairs from the second storey of their hospitality suite and headed out for their track walk with the number one Ferrari driver Mr Vettel.I played with some nice light to produce some side profile shots of Romain Grosjean and Daniel Ricciardo as the day wore on.But I’m not sure what’s going on with Brendan Hartley’s hair here; brings back memories of Something About Mary.I’ve had enough typing for today so I will bid you farewell and invite you to share this post with your friends.