Well, that was one hell of a race! Lewis Hamilton snuck home to win from Kimi Raikkonen with Sergio Perez in 3rd place. But it was Sergio who was the most elated; he couldn’t wait to embrace his team after his surprise podium finish.If you haven’t heard, Daniel Ricciardo run up the arse of Max Verstappen at high speed with 10 laps to go, putting them both out of the race and bringing out the safety car. A few laps later, the race restarted with Valtteri Bottas leading from Sebastian Vettel. As the pair approached turn 1, Seb overshot the corner and went back to fourth and then a few laps later, Valtteri blew a tyre and retired, leaving Lewis to take the chequered flag.But there was so much more, unfortunately none of it happened anywhere near me. But let’s go back to the start of the day and the action from the paddock. These women were colourfully well dressed. Federica Masolin’s outfit featured jeans trim that matched her stylish jacket. While Pierre Gasly was all smiles.The drivers’ parade was next and Lewis was wearing a stylish neck scarf and pink socks.And the local staff formed a guard of honour for the 20 drivers (or pilots as the Europeans call them). I had intended to catch the bus out to the castle to shoot the start and then work my way back to the finish line but it turned out the bus left 2 hours prior to the race start and spending 2 hours out there and missing the grid and drivers’ parade held little appeal so I stayed where I was and caught up with Christina Aguilera. I’ll be honest, I would not have recognised her but for a frenzy of media around her. Has she had work done on those lips? I ended up standing right over Lewis’ shoulder during the national anthem and got my first close-up look at his new plaited hair-style. It looks like he’s just returned from a Bali holiday.With 12 minutes to go until race start, it was a hike up to turn one and up onto the tower for a starting shot. I can confirm all drivers managed to get around the corner without incident. I stayed around turns 1, 2 and 3 shooting from a variety of spots hoping for something exciting to happen but alas, it wasn’t to be. The best I got was a lock up. And this shot of Alonso’s car limping back to the pits. Apparently it’s quite tricky driving a car with just two wheels.The shot below is taken through a photography hole and I can tell you the cars are moving at high speed and pass within a metre of the lens and 20cm of the barrier. It’s quite a buzz. I had a 10 minute walk back to the media centre to change lenses for parc ferme and as I walked into the centre I looked up at the monitors to see Daniel collide with Max; a sad end to the day for the Red Bull team. Here they are returning from the crash site; I wonder what was said when they got upstairs and spoke to the boss. After the podium celebrations the top 3 were transported the 100m to the media centre in this upmarket buggy.There, a humble Lewis felt very lucky to end up the winner and mentioned that he’d consoled his team partner straight after the race. Valtteri was subdued more than usual in the team garage after Lewis’ celebration photo opp and standing this close I certainly felt for the polite and gentle Finn. My final shot for the 4 days was of these crazy guys outside the Hilton Hotel where our media centre is located. One was a fellow Aussie, the other had an inflatable roo around his neck. Go figure.Bye for now.
IMAGES LIVE FROM THE TRACK
From Thursday to Sunday, images uploaded minutes after being taken.