The big story of the Singapore GP was the third turn coming together of the Force India cars. Two seconds after the shot below was taken, Ocon was into the wall and on his way back to the paddock on foot. Below you can see they were also very close just after the start as they headed for turn 1.But that said, let me take you through the weekend as I saw it through the lens.
Here’s the classic wide shot showing the track and the city under lights taken from the Stamford Hotel. Of course, Lewis Hamilton won and looks odds-on to take the 2018 Drivers’ World Championship. The shot above shows him drenched in champagne following the team celebration in front of his garage which was done about an hour after the race. Below he takes a moment to wind down and reflect on the win in parc ferme. And here he is spraying the Carbon champagne with much “verve”.Upstairs behind the podium the drivers head to a cool down room and I like to wait for them to emerge and head to the nearby press conference room. You get to see them relaxed and showing their emotions and when Seb came out I could clearly see his disappointment over the 3rd place finish. Also there, I watched Seb’s PA Britta (in red) give Lewis’ PA a heartfelt hug. When Lewis emerged I was about 7 metres from him and took a few images prior to him spotting me but the moment he realised there was a photographer present (the pic below) he dipped his head. At times over the weekend he will consciously do this when he sights photographers. He did it after qualifying too. The grid was hectic with many drivers wearing the cooling vests like Sergio Perez below standing next to Kimi who glances my way just prior to the national anthem. Daniel Ricciardo made a friend of his grid kid offering up a high five.My favourite pic from yesterday was taken on the grid but featured no driver, just Daniel’s helment in nice light shot at f/2. Here’a shot of Dan as he heads out on the drivers’ parade looking straight down the lens of my Canon 1DX Mk2.And here’s a different view of him. I snapped a couple of celebrities you might know, namely Mick Hucknall from the band Simply Red, and British funny man Jimmy Carr.There were glamourous-looking women in attendance and towards the top of that list was surely Elena Berri (left), girlfriend of Esteban Ocon. With the cars on track for 5 seperate sessions there are plenty of opportunities to shoot with different light and at different parts of the track. On Saturday afternoon the sky threatened to turn a gorgeous orange but this was as good as it got. Cars were sparking at various points on the track.Star filters were used with spectacular effect.And shooting from the Marina Bay stand area resulted in the city being visible in the background. The shot from the other side of the track shows the cars heading under the stand.I shot from this photographers’ window which is the closest we can get to the cars on this track (less than 2 metres). And shooting at a slow shutter speed blurs the wire that separates me from the cars.The drivers’ conference was held at 11.30pm on Friday night which provided some great opportunities to snap them as they traversed the paddock. And having one of my Perth staff with me for the race resulted in a rare pic of me. I do have to get a better hat though but the dilemma is it can’t be a cap (the visor impedes photography) and a floppy hat must fit tight enough not to blow off and head across the track. Any suggestions? I shot the shot below,from this opening in the trackside fence. In fact, I think I had the camera on the ground, pre-focused on a certain point to get that super low angle. I spent a session in the pits on Friday. And using a 600mm lens, I was able to get in nice and tight on the drivers’ eyes as they sat in their cars in the garage. These 3 fellow Aussies sure had some fun over the weekend and were well at home at the nightclub on the 57th floor of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel on Friday and Saturday night. And this Japanese fan was back again to support Nico Hulkenberg.So that winds up the Singapore GP for 2018. My next race is in Japan and it’s a great event to shoot, with good media facilities but a long commute to a good quality hotel. And in closing, here’s one of my other favourite pics from the weekend.
Here’s a timelapse video of the paddock and media centre and to another video you’ll enjoy.