This is the 3rd-last race of 2019 and today was media day at the Mexico City track.
The Day of the Dead plays a huge part at this GP with plenty of brightly coloured art pieces up and down the paddock and around the track. There are creatures positioned outside each of the team hospitality suites, one per driver.
Painted skulls are also a feature of the Day of the Dead celebrations.And the piece below is particularly elaborate.I had a stroke of good luck while shooting Charles Leclerc setting up for a TV interview in the paddock. Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene and Gino Rosato snuck up behind the driver and ambushed him deluxe. These are the sort of candid moments you dream of and to have it all to myself was indeed pleasing.
Daniel Ricciardo was proudly showing off his bright socks to a Canal + interviewer in the paddock. Of course he’s a devotee of colourful, high quality socks preferring Stance. Sky TV presenter Federica Masolina (below) and Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly (two below) were both wearing some snazzy shoes. Pierre joined Brendon Hartley for some Day of the Dead tips from this magnificently dressed local mascot.In the press conference, elder statesman Kimi Raikkonen was the odd man out among this bunch of young pups.Outside the media centre there was a motorsport themed Fussbal table. And on the Red Bull verandah there was a Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo pinata waiting to be smashed. In the afternoon the real Daniel took some lucky guests for a hot lap in an Aston Martin. But during an earlier media interview he was quizzed about putting his fist through a wall of his driver’s room after his retirement from the US GP. His response, “Better I punch a wall than punch someone’s face.”. He had calmed down though and was in jovial spirits. In the pits I had a close look at the side mirror on the Ferrari and noticed it is not one long piece of glass, but rather two pieces angled slightly differently. In the paddock, Sebastian Vettel stopped for some time to talk to two of his old Red Bull mates, Nigel and Ole. The beauty of him stopping for several minutes is you can normally get a shot where he is positioned nicely in the light, as I did here. At each race the organiser provides a media pack with information about the event and sometimes a small gift. In today’s pack I was surprised to find a number of bottles of tequila, the national drink here in Mexico.Last thing of the day I headed out to pit lane to see what the fans, who’d turned up for the pit lane walk, were up to. This couple had made Lewis and Angela (Cullen, Lewis’ physio) masks which got Angela’s attention. I was impressed with this mock helmet perfectly fashioned from cardboard.And it wouldn’t be Mexico with a fan in a wrestling mask.It was a good day to be a Formula 1 photographer although the forecast for the next 3 days is for some ordinary weather. It’s adios from me but remember to check my daily picture gallery at kymillman.com/f1.