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2019 ITALIAN GRAND PRIX POST-RACE BLOG

Italy went wild over the first Ferrari win i managedat Monza in many years.  Charles Leclerc led the Mercedes of both Hamilton and Bottas for the entire race leaving the young racer to notch up his second career win in front of the Ferrari-mad tifosi.Let’s jump straight to parc ferme where it was chaotic; it always is here in Monza. I managed to snare some great close-up shots of Charles as he celebrated his win although the Ferrari crew had nabbed the best spots up against the fence. Both Lewis and Valtteri were quick to go and shake the Ferrari drivers hand in the car following the race. After a quick trip back to the media centre to post the parc ferme and podium shots to Instagram (the internet coverage on track woeful) I returned to the paddock and realised that Ferrari was going to do a celebration photo in front of the garage. It was done in front of a huge media throng as you can see. Back in the paddock, every man and his dog was hanging out for a selfie with Charles as he returned from the garage en route to the motorhome and it was here that I saw his team boss Mattia Binotto approach the surrounded driver. Thinking there might be a super shot moments away, I made sure I was on the side where I could see Charles’ face and snapped my most popular pic of the weekend. I posted this pic to Insta from the paddock as returning to the media centre would have meant missing out on so many other shots.  One of those shots I would’ve missed out on was this one. I called out to Nico as he ran towards me en route to the garage well after the race and scored this goofy shot of the German driver.  He was in a great mood having clocked up a 5th place finish.

Jumping back in time now, most of the drivers leave the grid prior to the playing of the national anthem and head back to their garages or to the bathroom. On Sunday I found Sebastian and Max jogging back to the grid after their visit, while Lewis scootered backwith his smiling physio Angela Cullen jogging behind him.Charles Leclerc’s brothers were at the track to see their brother’s second win; Lorenzo on the left and Arthur on the right. Mr and Mrs Leclerc have produced some good-looking lads, wouldn’t you agree?Prior to the race I was in front of Kimi Raikkonen’s garage when he started his car.  Thirty seconds later, the car had been turned off and there was a mad scramble to find another steering wheel for the Finnish driver.I can’t tell you why they needed to swap steering wheels but there was some urgency about the situation.

There was plenty of excitement around the return of Fernando Alonso to the paddock on Saturday and yesterday, he was in the company of his girlfriend Linda Morselli and regular paddock guest, Moko.As one Instagram follower said, “Moka and Linda look like they’re wearing the same outfit.”

After the drivers had headed off on their parade lap 90 minutes before race start, I followed Sky Italia presenters Davide Valsecchi and Federica Masolin down the track as they whipped the local fans into a frenzy.  Back to the drivers’ parade, and these two were having a chat prior to the cars heading off at which point I realised that Sergio was actually driving his car.  He was the only pro racer driving his car, which is unusual but not unheard of.  Now, as a photographer I shoot with Canon 1DXMk2 cameras.  These are digital and most photographers shoot digital although from time to time I spot something a little unusual like Florian from Germany here, shooting with a Polaroid.  In the paddock I tend to shoot all drivers at a high shutter speed and a low F/stop (to blur the background) but occasionally I have a crack some trickier shots like this one of Alex Albon.  His face is sharp as I’ve panned the camera over the 15th of a second that the shutter is open at the exact same speed as his head is moving. Everything else in the pic that is not moving at that pace and at the same distance from the camera will not be sharp.  Jumping back to the grid I often find Daniel Ricciardo the last to leave the red carpet after the playing of the national anthem.  He is always crouched down putting his headphones on to “get into the zone” prior to a long race.  And Charles Leclerc is one of the few drivers to remain on the side of the track instead of heading back to the garage where he is always beset upon by photographers and cameramen.This presents some good photo opportunities especially when there is rich green grass to contrast against the rich red of the Ferrari race suit. And finally, my flight back to Australia is about to leave and here’s a shot of Lando Norris in rich light.  Next race is Singapore the week after next so so make sure you’re following me on Instagram and remember, you can purchase any of my images at www.prostarpics.com

Ciao from Italy.


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