What a great day to be an F1 photographer, at the Austrian Grand Prix on qualifying day. The drivers arrived to a large crowd ready to score an autograph or selfie at the entrance to the track. Instead of the red carpet they have the green carpet here and greeters dressed in traditional outfits. Everyone but the guy in orange was well behaved. He was “red carded” for being drunk and unruly and before 10am. Daniel Ricciardo signed autographs.Fernando Alonso point blankly refused to sign this helmet; I’m unsure why but think it has something to do with contractual obligations re old helmets. On the other side of the main straight, drivers were arriving too, like this one on his motorcycle. Waiting for him to remove his helmet, we were treated to a glimpse of the current world champion’s new hairstyle.Coming through the same gate was a well known ex-F1 driver Johnny Herbert (left) and a very wealthy soft drink company owner Dietrich Masteschitz.The 74 year old Austrian owns Red Bull Racing and is looking pretty good for his age. The final practice session got underway at noon and I went to the pits to initially get close-up shots of drivers prepping for the hour-long session. Sebastian Vettel puts his gear on at the back of the garage.While Lewis does it behind closed doors and simply enters the garage and takes his seat.Lance Stroll normally puts his helmet on at the front of the garage but today broke with that tradition by getting in first then putting on his head protector.Using a 600mm lens allows me to get in very tight on the drivers at the back of the garage and even closer while they’re seated in their cars. The rest of the session was spent shooting the comings and goings in pit lane which is a lovely thing to do given there is plenty going on. For qualifying at 3pm I went to turn one and spent the first two parts of qualifying shooting the cars coming over a slight crest with the crowd in the stands behind. Here is the top six qualifiers rounding that turn, in the order they finished the session. There is a huge contingent of Max Verstappen supporters here and they stand out in their orange shirts. Here’s Max’s team mate Daniel Ricciardo passing one of the stands dominated by those supporters.This Finnish fella was pretty happy after qualifying on pole for the first time this year and chose to stand on his vehicle to acknowledge the crowd. These two will start behind him at 3.10pm tomorrow local time; so will you be watching?
IMAGES LIVE FROM THE TRACK
From Thursday to Sunday, images uploaded minutes after being taken.