Finally an interesting F1 race with plenty of action and drama. Max Verstappen was the hero of the day in Austria yesterday and was happy to be showered in champagne on the podium after the race.A few minutes earlier I could see Daniel Ricciardo about to walk past Max so I focused on the coming together and shot him congratulating his old teammate. It turned out to be my most popular Instagram photo ever!
There were some beautiful, well dressed women at the track over the weekend. The couple below were very popular with the local photographers but I can’t tell you any more than he might be a footballer of note and her track pants were certainly sparkly.Nico Hulkenberg kicked up some dust when he arrived out the front of the main stand on race day. There were several hundred fans waiting for the drivers to walk the “green carpet”.Lewis Hamilton went one better, burning plenty of rubber. Fashion-wise, I was intrigued by the shorts Lewis wore on Friday. Not seen the likes of that prior.This season I have developed a fun relationship with Nico Hulkenberg, I am amassing quite a collection of shots of him pulling silly faces and poses. On race day, he showed me his “peering over his glasses” look.Sebastian Vettel was staying in a motor home not far from the track and rode his bicycle to and from the track each day.One of the beauties of having shot F1 for two and a half years is that other photographers will often share tips about when and how drivers might arrive at the track which was the case with the shot above. Advance notice is invaluable.
I was delighted to see that one of my pics of Niki Lauda made it onto the wall of the tunnel that goes under the track. There were about 25 pics celebrating the Austrian’s life with this shot taken in Canada in 2017 while he was in the Mercedes hospitality suite and while it looks posed, it wasn’t.
After qualification I waited for the drivers who weren’t in the top 3 to exit pit lane via the FIA garage. Kevin Magnussen had set the 5th fastest time and was greeted with a big hug by Stuart Morrison, head of comms at Haas.I also got a great facial expression from Lando Norris as he was putting on his Richard Mille watch.Other notable captures over the weekend included this shot of Charles Leclerc entering an engineering meeting.And Kimi Raikkonen rounding a corner on foot heading to the garage. There is little doubt that the Spielberg circuit lends itself to glorious photographs. With forests all around and hardly any wire fencing above the Armco, we are spoilt for photo opps. The shot above was taken through the bottom gap in the armco while laying on the grass. For the shot below, I was standing some 200 metres away from the car and panned with it using a 600mm lens to blur the orange t-shirts being worn by the Max fans.The signature shot at Spielberg though, is the one below with the red and white painted run-off area at the final turn, filling the background.Moving just 10 metres to the right though and the shot takes on a different appearance. Heading out to the grid on race day I found Ziggo Sport TV presenter Jack Plooij in pit lane. Now Jack is absolute character and lovely fella to boot. When I lifted my camera he went into “performance mode” for this animated shot.And standing behind the drivers as they stood for the national anthem, I noticed Lewis Hamilton holding his red cap (all drivers were presented with one to wear in honour of Niki Lauda) close to his heart and tapping on the visor.The drivers were asked to take off their caps and place them on their chest at a point in time determined by the TV coverage.
In the McLaren motorhome I came across Lando Norris critiquing Carlos Sainz’ driving on the simulator. The two spend quite a bit of time on this thing to sharpen their skills.So in the end it was a great race for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.He stole the win off a disappointed Charles Leclerc just a few laps from home but after the race Sebastian Vettel had some words of consolation for the young Monegasque driver who is surely getting close to a maiden win in his Ferrari. Maybe Silverstone will be the venue. It’s on the weekend after next.