It was lovely to see Kimi score a win yesterday, his first since 2013.He appeared happy with the result, but not as happy as his Ferrari colleague below. I went to the post race press conference in the hope of seeing a different, more animated Kimi. But he was his usual dry self, perhaps happier for his team mates than for himself. What I did notice was the amount of dirt and crap all over Lewis’ helmet and car as he parked his Mercedes after the race. Thankfully the weather was a marked improvement over the previous three days. It made for some nice light for photography. On the grid, I found myself standing behind Charles Leclerc, right behind him, so close that I could’ve grabbed that cap and nicked it. Suffice it to say, I didn’t. The Red Bull drivers’ suits were custom made for the USGP and they looked like local cowboy outfits, complete with a cowboy belt buckle. While there were no grid girls, the Dallas Cowgirls were in attendance to brighten the grid. They sparkled!I shot the start from the tower at turn one. And then spent the next hour shooting the action around that turn. The buses that run around the track go so slowly that one of my learned colleagues spent 28 mins in it during the race trying to get back to the paddock. That’s a third of the race stuck in a bus missing photographic opportunities galore. Hark back to Friday which was a miserable, wet day but I quite like shooting in the rain as it provides totally different shots to dry day shooting. I like the tower in the background of the shot below. Sauber boss Fred Vasseur strikes a lonely figure crossing pit lane in the rain. The arriving drivers were all waterproofed as they entered the paddock Friday morning. Lewis was flying the Gore-Tex brand flag as he took protection under his brolly. I used a 50mm f/1.2 lens for this shot of Pierre Gasly. Shooting at f/1.2 throws the background out of focus, isolating the subject and giving the shot a warm, soft look.It’s normally shorts and a polo shirt for me, however , the first 3 days of this event were the coldest I’ve encountered shooting this sport. That resulted in me having to don jeans, 4 upper layers and a scarf as this pic by fellow snapper Jerry Andre shows. On the track the plume of water was a feature of the images that day.On qualifying day I went up the tower to shoot the shots below. The tower is big and has a lift. But I decided it might be quicker to walk up the stairs given the lift queue. Well, that was mistake. There are some 12 levels to ascend and it was wet and blowy; all in all, it was a grind but doing it in two stints made it tolerable.
In the afternoon it was time for qualifying and that’s when the sparks were really flying. Earlier in the day I snapped Seb talking with Adrian Newey and windsurfing legend Robbie Naish.
The championship has still not been won by Lewis Hamilton but there’s every chance he’ll snare it next Sunday in Mexico City and I’ll be right there to witness it if he does. Thanks for getting through this blog, check back Thursday night local time for my pre-race blog. Adios!