Well, Spa Francochamps is quite a circuit, of that there is no doubt. Having never been to this track before, I couldn’t wait to see what all the hype was about, and most of it surrounds the 3rd corner, Eau Rouge. Here it is from half up the steep climb.It’s magical. After rounding the first corner, a hairpin, the cars head downhill and then immediately uphill into Eau Rouge. The steepness of the incline surprised me. You don’t get a real feeling for how much height is gained from TV or pics, although the glass of red fizzy drink below will give you an idea. I’m not sure how many degrees it is, but effort is certainly required to ascend the rise. I’d like to say I thought of the “red liquid in the cup” idea but it was MacLaren’s social media crew (below) who filled the cup with red (rouge) liquid. Looking uphill at Eau Rouge you can get a shot like this of a car (the safety car in this instance) cresting the peak and heading downhill with the dark trees in the background. I’ll have a crack at that tomorrow.I stayed at the top of Eau Rouge and waited for the drivers to do their track walks and snared these pics among others. Sebastian Vettel is the only one of the top 8 drivers to regularly walk the track on the Thursday. Normally he has team members alongside him but when he is stopped for an autograph, they walk on leaving him to catch up to them which often involves a jog. In this instance, Ferrari photographer Callo had to jog with him if he wanted to continue his conversation with the Championship leader. Carlos Sainz had little time to walk the track, so he navigated it on a moped. Charlie Whiting spent 10 minutes or so discussing the curbing at the top of Eau Rouge with his entourage.Later, I headed back to the paddock where I spotted one of the Sauber crew members carrying a steering wheel (they’re worth upwards of US$150K) so I snapped this shot, only to find out that he was also carrying an Edox (car sponsor) watch, no doubt for a driver to wear. While Daniel Ricciardo was not wearing his colourful Stance socks today,Lewis Hamilton was wearing his socks pulled up over his strides. As kids, we used to make fun of people getting around like this, but perhaps its now fashionable, although I can’t work out why. It was great to see some some Simpsons characters plus the guy in red (what is that character) during the pit lane walk.At the afternoon press conference Max Verstappen pointed to the heavens while this young lady pointed a video camera at them.I must say it is a delight when a driver looks right down my lens as Max did above and Daniel did below today. Most of the drivers avoid looking at you although to be fair, sometimes there are a dozen lens aiming at them making it impossible to address each one if they’re moving at speed.
Here’s a shot of Kimi Raikonnen from above.And below is a shot of two of the crew from Canal Plus’ Sports Reporter TV program. They approached me and asked a few questions about photographing this legendary corner for their upcoming edition to air this Saturday. God knows how I will get to see it but hopefully it will pop up on line. Another thing that struck me about this track was the drop off on the outside of the pit lane entry It’s a pretty steep angle, I know because I had to walk the outside of this section of track and it was a little harrowing.The autograph session late in the afternoon was well attended and provided some colourful pics. Both the woman and the guy on his mate’s shoulders were tickled pink that Lewis Hamilton signed their hats. And then I ran out of things to say which resulted in this blog coming to a screaming halt!
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