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2019 JAPANESE GRAND PRIX PRE-RACE BLOG

What is Nico Hülkenberg reacting to here? Let me tell you. I took a pic of the Renault driver a couple of races ago where he was overtly wide-eyed.  I printed that pic (A3) and then cut out a hole where his mouth was for the lens of my 70-200mm to fit through.  As he was coming back from the press conference, I was waiting for him.  He was gob-smacked and ended up taking the cutout with him, seeing the funny side of it.  He is a good sport I can assure you.  Oh, and no word yet on what he’s going to be doing next year.I was surprised to see this fellow sitting in the middle of the paddock being interviewed today. It’s not often you get to shoot Kimi Räikkönen in the open for any length of time so it was a welcome opportunity.On the Daniel Ricciardo front, he was doing a rugby demonstration with Nico Hülkenberg in the paddock this afternoon to celebrate the Rugby World Cup, which is on in Japan at present. As he walked back to the Renault hospitality suite he still had one of the rugby balls with him. He was bouncing it like an Aussie rules footy.See these amazing Manga cut outs?  They were produced by P2W and today he presented me with not only these two pieces, but 6 others.  I love them!Lando Norris was out and about throughout the day and I found him mid afternoon pointing to the sky just after he’d taken Johnny Herbert for a spin in a McLaren road car. I saw Cherry Fan, one of the few female F1 photographers, shooting between two hospitality suites, so I went to investigate and this is what I saw. Sebastian Vettel stood there for probably 15 minutes talking to the person holding the San Pelegrino bottle.  A male journo.  Can you guess who it was? I was pleased with these pics of Pierre Gasly and Kevin Magnussen. And I’m certainly pleased with the response to my YouTube channel. Over the past week things have gone berserk with views up 3,100%, watch time up 9,000% and subscribers up 935%.  I’m now producing at least 2 F1 videos a week and it’s free to subscribe.

These young Renault fans were back in the paddock today and were the most photographed youngsters at the track without question. Earlier in the day I shot Charles Leclerc with his trainer Andrea Ferrari when the sun was out. By 10am the clouds had rolled in and with the forecast for Saturday being affected by the typhoon off the coast, we might not see the sun again this race, but we will wait and see.  Daniil Kvyat was protecting his eardrums as he headed off on his track walk. And Lando Norris took pity on a lone fan who cajoled him into signing an autograph while he was on his track walk. Just behind Lando was Sergio Pérez. Now I would love to be able to shoot the cars at this angle, however that’s not an option as I was lying in the middle of the track to get this crest shot. Back in the paddock I was looking for interesting women for Monday’s Women of the Paddock Insta post and I found this local who was full of beans. For the record, the Japanese fans are the best when it comes to showing support for their favourite driver.  Here is a selection of zany outfits and passionate fans from the pit walk today.For now though, it’s sayonara from Yokkaichi but make sure you’ve got notifications turned on my Instagram feed so you see the goings on at the track minutes after they happen.

 

 


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