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2019 AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX PRE-RACE BLOG

Austria was hot today! In fact, most of Europe is going through a heat wave but late in the day it rained taking off a number of degrees thankfully. So, let’s hark back to the morning when Lewis Hamilton stood out upon arrival wearing a pink hat and pink t-shirt and a whopping great IWC watch.Entering the paddock just prior to him was this chap.Young Charles was wearing plain white, this time a long sleeve sweater on a very hot morning.  I was happy to get a look and a smile from the amiable Monagasque.  That’s his manager Morgan Caron in the background.

One of the great personalities of F1 is Jack Plooij, a Dutch TV presenter.  The bronzed Dutchman loves Daniel Ricciardo and Dan always plays up to Jack.  Today I caught the two once again relishing each other’s company while producing some fine TV.I listened to a few of the interviewers all ask the same question about Dan’s penalties last race (2 x 5 seconds) and Dan gave every one the same answer, “I thought I might have been pinged for the first transgression but the second one was part of that first incident and as such the two should have been treated as one.”I waited for Kimi Raikkonen to finish his mandatory media commitments in front of the Alfa motorhome and was rewarded with a clean shot of the Finn returning to the safety of his driver’s room.There was plenty of local culture in the paddock with these traditionally dressed Austrian women handing out apples.Not far away, there was plenty of fine local meats and cheeses on offer (for free) and there were many happy to enjoy it I promise you.They even had apple strudel; scrumptious! One of the most popular TV presenters in the paddock hails from Italy, Mara Sangiorgio. I caught the Italian running interference on these two Italian photographers.And snapped her face-on still obstructing my colleagues’ shots!One of the most likeable drivers is Pierre Gasly.  A Frenchman with a good heart, a fine girlfriend and an ever-present smile, he was on his way to the Red Bull garage when I snapped this image of him. I spent a little bit of time with Lando Norris today and got an idea of what his F1 routine is like.  Here he is at lunch where he is served up a meal that is pre-planned by a nutritionist to give him energy and yet keep his weight down. As you can see, his trainer Jon (right) and manager Mark aren’t subject to the same strict regimen.A short time later I found Lando providing support for his teammate Carlos Sainz who was driving the Red Bull Ring on the simulator.To get to the 3pm press conference, drivers have to pass under the pit straight via the tunnel. This is a good opportunity for a different looking shot and here I snapped local hero Max Verstappen walking with Charles Leclerc.And on the way back I snapped Charles with Sergio Perez. And finally, hats off to these enterprising locals, camped out next to the track near turn one. A close inspection of this image will reveal some interesting features.  For one, the Niki cap on the Merc logo which is hung from a small crane. But it is the water feature that turns heads, and I mean everyone’s head.  Hats off to the boys for their ingenuity and creativity.

A reminder that you’re invited to an interesting evening of F1 photography chat in Monza on the Saturday of the GP.  3-course meal, drinks, a couple of A3 prints of your favourite pics of mine and plenty of behind the scenes stories.  Email info@kymillman.com for details.

Auf Wiedersehen meine Freunde!


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