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2019 MEXICAN GRAND PRIX PRE-RACE BLOG

I do like Mexico City and the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez track.  It was good to me today with some great shots and some interesting stories.  Let me start with the headline pic.  Why was Daniil Kvyat blowing me a kiss?

This will explain it.  Daniil had just finished a TV interview when I popped up in front of him with a cut-out of his delightful partner (and mother of his first child) Kelly Piquet, attached to my 35mm lens.   He didn’t know what to think at first and then he started laughing.  At that point I raised my camera again and he offered up a kiss, to his wife not me.  I was most fortunate that British photographer Peter Fox (@peterjfoxy on Insta) was nearby and shot the whole exchange.   Oh, and I did try it with Kimi Räikkönen, using a pic of his wife on the lens, however, I got no reaction.  You win some, you lose some.

Later in the day I was pointed out by Renault driver Nico Hülkenberg who was sporting some snazzy new sunnies.  He had a look of menace in his eyes but rest assured he meant no malice; just horsing around.

Max Verstappen was pointing too, not at me but to a friend behind me while he traversed the Mexico City paddock accompanied by his press officer Victoria Lloyd.While waiting for drivers in the stadium, another photographer, Callo Albanese took a polaroid of me and then took a pic of my pic with my camera for me.  He then took a polaroid of Charles Leclerc and his crew and gave it to Charles.He loved it as you can see,so I asked him to pose with his Callo polaroid before he got back to the garage.  Sergio Pérez was enjoying being the home town favourite, posing on this park bench in the paddock for about 30 photographers.   And while Sergio was posing in front of the foliage, I found Franz Tost behind the foliage as he entered the Toro Rosso hospitality suite. He looks stern, huh!Many of the drivers walk the track like Pierre Gasly, and as he passed through the stadium, I found him ribbing one of the Toro Rosso social media guys, Josh Kruse, about something that clearly tickled his funny bone.  Despite the setback of losing his points from the Japanese GP, Daniel Ricciardo was all smiles. And 19-year-old Lando Norris was spotted in pit lane signing autographs just as the rain started to fall, wearing a new Lando/McLaren cap  with a Mexican flag on the back and some nice detail under the peak. Carlos also joined him for the autograph session jogging out from the garage with purpose. Thursday is a pretty laid back day in the paddock and there is often time for team personnel to catch up with friends and associates as Carina from Racing Point and Ruth from Alfa are doing here.  Here are another couple of pals enjoying a chat after the press conference in the media centre.It has to be said, the organisers did a great job with the paddock this year.  The artwork on the media centre and the faux streetscape below are most impressive.And finally, congratulations to my youngest son Jayce on his last day of high school in Perth.  Here he is ducking a kiss from my wife Tonya and me on Wednesday.  What a fine young man you’ve turned out to be, good luck in your exams.Thanks for getting to the end of the blog.  Tomorrow I have a new driver profile video to go up on myYouTube channel and this week Charles Leclerc is the featured driver.  Subscribe now to ensure you don’t miss it.


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