The mornings are cool in Mexico City as we are at an elevation of 2400m, higher than many ski resorts. I arrived at the track before sunrise today and took a panorama shot of the stadium.The sky was a warm orange as the sun broke the horizon, making for a nice sky behind this Williams being wheeled down pit lane.On the second level of the pit lane hospitality suites I watched these to glamours spend every bit of 10 minutes posing for selfies. They were drunk on the experience and I was lucky to get their attention.They got Fernando Alonso’s attention and a smile from the man and then he turned to me to acknowledge these two good fun Mexicans. The drivers arrived with Kimi Raikonnen putting his head down and forging a path through the fans stopping for no one; he can’t be bothered with this side of the business. Lewis Hamilton was, as normal, head down studying his cell phone and Sebastian Vettel had a throng of security make a ring around him. One video cameraman was having a right struggle with one of them and in the end he put his foot out trying to trip the suited bouncer. I thought there might have been a bit of biffo coming.
Valtteri Bottas walked through the colourfully dressed locals. There was a bevy of beautiful Mexican women to welcome the Paddock Club guests and some snazzily dressed gentlemen and musicians. Upon leaving yesterday I came across Aussie Daniel Ricciardo and New Zealander Brendon Hartley having a chat out the back of the hospitality suites. This morning when I saw Dan I asked him about the trans-Tasman conference to which he gave me a big grin. The first practice session saw me out at turn one and again today I had a couple of cars end up going over the grass like ride-on lawn mowers. Then there was an array of shots of different tightness and shutter speeds. At 1pm qualifying kicked off and I was in the stadium shooting from a trackside photo hole that saw the cars just 3m from me. That’s me in the white shirt (photo by Jerry Andre).While not travelling at the same speed as they do at the bottom of Eu Rouge in Spa (300+km/hr.) it is still exhilarating being that close.
The sky was a brilliant blue and using a polarizing filter only enhanced it. A little further on I shot through the wire fence and incorporated the flags that stretch between the two stands,before moving to the top of the straight and then mid straight to photograph the top 3 qualifiers pull up to celebrate. Sebastian Vettel (1st), Max Verstappen (2nd) and Lewis Hamilton (3rd). Oh, and by the way, there was pandemonium at the Four Seasons Hotel this afternoon as Paul McCartney left the hotel in a motorcade waving at the hysterical throng. I know this because my wife witnessed it but had no camera. Here’s a very grainy pic of him whizzing through the driveway en route to the basement garage last night.I have to leave you now as I’m heading to Paul’s concert where I’m seated 13 rows from the stage thanks to a generous Scottish man. Race day tomorrow so expect some great pics, a few stories and a review of Paul’s concert.