Day one of the Monaco Grand Prix and the tiny country turned on a super day of sunny skies with no wind. It was great to be in this part of the world and a pleasure to photograph what I was seeing.Monaco-local Charles Leclerc was the first driver in and it was clear he was lapping up the atmosphere in pit lane. Ferrari were practicing their pit stops but when I started to photograph the action, this Ferrari team member (below) was less than helpful, running interference by positioning himself between my lens and the Ferrari car. When a second photographer rolled up, we agreed to shoot a distance apart so he could only affect one of us. It worked.Perhaps it was Ferrari’s decision to change their mirrors on the halo, getting rid of the bit that sat above the mirror, that made the Ferrari camp keen to limit photographs of it. For those who know the Monaco pits, the daggy old two-storey white demountable buildings have been replaced with some shiny new 3-storey buildings that were no doubt welcomed by the 10 teams. Lewis Hamilton arrived with a passenger on his stunning looking motorcycle.. This enabled him to bypass those hoping for an autograph or selfie although he did acknowledge those fans who were in front of the garage after alighting from his 2 wheeler.Later on he featured in the press conference where he was in sponsor-promo mode, drinking repeatedly from his Monster can. It’s unclear if it was the sugary syrup he was downing or water. More likely the latter. But I think it was his jewellery that really stood out; have a look at it! Daniel Ricciardo was sporting new glasses and a familiar big smile. Charles Leclerc posed for this pic at the final corner in front of the iconic Monaco street signs. Nico Hulkenberg looked relaxed as he arrived via cycle.Esteban Ocon gave me the thumbs up as he negotiated pit lane on foot. While Carlos Sainz looked cool in his yellow Renault team shirt. Jumping back to the press conference, there was a light hearted moment at the start when Lewis Hamilton had to put his sunnies on due to the “bright TV lights” in the room. This prompted Seb to ‘don his and the other two drivers to follow suit, mocking the current championship leader. At the lavish Red Bull Energy Station, I found this artist who produces facsimiles of drivers using just adhesive tape. He’s a fair artist I think you’ll agree.
They were the more interesting moments of my day and as I sit here writing this on the yacht Quid Pro Quo, watching a cavalcade of interesting folks and amazing sports cars drive past the yacht (the Monaco circuit opens to street traffic at the end of each day) I can’t help but think that life is pretty good. More stories and pics of cars on track tomorrow so please SHARE this blog with your friends.