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2019 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX POST-RACE BLOG

Sebastian Vettel had his first win in more than a year to cap off the 4 days of the Singapore GP. For me it was a busy race with more than 16,000 images shot; allow me to run through a selection of them.

Nico Hülkenberg will feature quite a bit in this blog as he was particularly animated for me this race starting with this pose coming into the track on Friday. I shot Lando Norris, who was lagging behind his trainer Jon Malvern (right) and manager Mark Berryman, when Jon produced this broad smile as he leant further into the shot. Daniel Ricciardo’s Thursday thick beard was gone come Friday as it would have been just too hot to race with it. As Lewis Hamilton was making his way to the garage on his scooter at one point, he spotted a youngster keen for an autograph and as he’ll often do for kids, he stopped and obliged himMark Arnall was caught with Kimi Raikkonen’s dirty laundry.  I asked him if Kimi wears a clean suit each session to which he replied that in Singapore he’ll go through 3 suits over the weekend, but that’s unusual as he normally wears one suit over the 3 days. We then got around to talking about how often drivers wee in their suits.  “It happens rarely”, but he told me of one driver who had a wee in his suit as the cars were heading out to the grid, and when the mechanics noticed it leaking out from the under side of the car when he’d stopped, they went into a tizz thinking it was from the engine. 

I learnt it was Dutch TV presenter Olav Mol’s 500th Grand Prix working for Ziggo Sports, so he was happy to pose for me.I noticed that like Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc is quite particular about tucking his “tackle” in prior to seating in the Ferrari. Down the other end of pit lane Pierre Gasly and his girlfriend Caterina were having a great laugh at the back of the garage prior to FP3. I was happy to have a Perth mate, Henry Velkovski, at the race this weekend and when he wanted a pic with Federica Masolin, Federica and I were more than happy to oblige.  Henry showed me the extravagant side of Singapore nightlife over 3 great nights and we met some fine people doing it, none more so than Iana – an avid F1 fan from Russia.  I have some canvas prints in one of my garages in Perth and needed a portrait format shot to update one of them and this is the pic I foresaw in my mind, so I was thrilled when I managed to pull it off on Saturday during quali. I am amassing quite a collection of silly facial expressions from Nico Hülkenberg and on Sunday I was happy to snare another one. While the drivers were doing the parade lap on Sunday, I followed these two characters for a bit, watching them have plenty of fun enlightening their Italian TV audience about all things F1.  They are always animated and top people!And how about Pierre Gasly here? Relaxed and ready to have a laugh with me. I spent the entire race around turns 1, 2 and 3 before heading back for parc ferme. There I lined up in a corridor with 30 or so others.  Now, there’s no air con in this corridor, it’s packed with 30 or 40 very sweaty and very smelly photographers and the wait was going to be about 20 minutes.That was too much for me so I opted for fresh air and went and shot the non-podium drivers which is where I got this pic of Nico’s trainer dousing him in water.  Then I hear Nico calling, “Illman, Illman, get a shot of me eating this Snickers bar.”  And so I did.  I don’t know why he was keen for that shot but here it is. I had to dash for the airport then which cut short my normal routine of shooting, but 2 hours after the race ended, I was on my flight to Moscow where I’m writing.  I do hope to catch up with you for one of my F1 dinners soon.  I have one planned in Austin, Abu Dhabi and Melbourne thus far, but there’ll be plenty more next year.  

And for getting to the end of the blog, you are rewarded with 4 bonus pics.

Bye for now! 

  


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