On Sunday night I’m heading to Barcelona for the 2nd set of F1 testing days. All 10 teams will be testing their new vehicles at the Circuit de Catalunya – Spain from March 7th to 10th. This year, there is a tremendous focus on Daniel Ricciardo’s chances of taking out the title. With the new vehicle designs and some regulation changes, perhaps an Aussie will end up on top of the table and bring home some silverware.
I have been accredited to photograph testing in Barcelona, which is quite rare for a photographer not linked to a major news or sports outlet. This will provide me with an opportunity to get close to the track, teams and drivers so I will be lapping up that opportunity. I’m confident of being able to present a persuasive case to accredit me for the season which would see me attend 21 events in 19 countries outside Australia clocking up 500,000kms over 8 months.
I fell in love with F1 when the event was held in Adelaide decades ago. I remember travelling back to Adelaide one year (I spent the first 19 years of my life there) and while dining at La Casalinga in Unley one night, was thrilled to see Jackie Stewart, Johnny Herbert, Damon Hill and Beatle George Harrison walk into the restaurant.
I dashed into the city to get an Adelaide Alive event poster, returned to enjoy my meal and as the foursome departed the restaurant, I headed outside and asked all four of them to sign it. That framed poster now hangs in the Messages On Hold offices in East Perth.
When I spotted Jackie in the pits at Abu Dhabi last year (see below), I had a chat with him about that night and he recalled the evening saying that they refused to sign anything while they were dining but were more than happy to sign mine as they exited.
There’s no doubt my motor sport photography skills will improve at a rapid rate if I’m granted accreditation for the entire season. With Liberty Media taking over the running of the sport from Bernie Ecclestone, it looks like there will be a greater emphasis on digital and social media. I feel the timing of my approach to the governing body was most fortuitous and given that I am able to devote the entire year to this pursuit, I think I can present a compelling case for allowing me to be a part of this travelling juggernaut.
Keep an eye on this page for regular posts on my travels along with the best images from each event.