Stating the obvious, it was very hot work in the paddock today. The mercury hit 40degrees C which kept the paddock clear of most people for a lot of the day. Of course on a hot day it’s important to get plenty of cold stuff into you and I was delighted to learn that Red Bull had installed a secret soft serve machine. Here’s Red Bull stalwart Nigel Hope about to fill my cup for me. First driver to arrive today was Lando Norris who graced me with a smile. Not long after him, Sebastian Vettel rolled up in his own Ferrari, a 488 Pista which looked a treat! He dropped his father Norbert off at the gate and then parked the beast in the drivers’ car park. Lewis rolled in on a scooter wearing Tommy Hilfiger shirt, pants, a colourful bucket hat and his flash gold IWC Big Pilot’s watch. Not far behind him on foot was his trusted physio/mate Angela Cullen.Then it was time for some of the drivers to brave the heat and walk the track. Below are three groups, two from Ferrari and one from Toro Rosso. I found Charles Leclerc and his trusted Ferrari team in front of the ferris wheel and was happy to see the Monegasque with a broad smile on his face. Charles’ brother Arthur was also with him for the entire lap, albeit in different colours.I had hoped Sebastian might stop at the spot where he went off last year. You might remember this corner had DHL logos on it last year. This year the yellow has been replaced by Emirates red and white. This was the closest Seb got to that spot though. Martin Brundle stopped to chat with Kevin Magnussen in the paddock. Kevin has the more impressive hair. Daniel Ricciardo feigned a sack-whack on me, half a second after I shot this frame. He lulled me into a false sense of security by showing this sack-whacking hand but quickly dropped it and headed “downstairs”, stopping short of contact. He was all over social media last race after his sack-whack on Carlos Sainz. I’m in lofty company. Moments after the above shot, he was entertaining journalists like Ted Kravitz in his regular Thursday media stint at the back of the garage. Sky Italia TV host Mara Sangiorgio was cranky this afternoon. Maybe it was the heat, but even in a cranky mood she still scrubs up ok. Hungarian TV cameraman Szilard shot me shooting him. Nobody got hurt.And up in the press conference room, 5 drivers were answering largely inane questions about what they do. There was some love in the room though with Seb and Kimi sharing thoughts about each other when they were both driving for Ferrari. While fellow German Nico Hulkenberg watched Seb answer some question with a gooey smile on his face. And then late in the day, I took the nicest shot of the day. Antonio Giovinazzi walking the paddock; shot from low down with nothing in the background. A winner for me.Remember, I’m hosting F1 photography dinners in Monza, Perth and Austin. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
More blog on Monday after the wet race!