• Life Through a Lens

Melbourne park life

Mark Sutton
March 19, 2014

F1 photographer Mark Sutton walks ESPN through his six favourite shots from the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park

Camera model: Nikon D4 Exposure time:1/1000s Aperture: F8 No flash ISO speed :200 Lens: 70-200mm zoom © Sutton Images
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This is a great shot of Nico Rosberg. I just couldn't believe the exuberance that he's got, he's so emotional on the podium. It's just great to see emotion and he certainly exudes that whenever he wins. I think we got a little bored last season of Sebastian Vettel and his 11 wins, and the doughnuts, plus I think the finger-pointing is a bit old hat and a little boring now. It is just pure relief and pure celebration of the victory. You can see it from when he gets on, to when he lifts the trophy, to when he sprays the champagne. It's not like it's his first win or his first year in Formula One. I guess he sees it as a minor victory that Mercedes has had a good start to the season with that car. At the moment it's like when Brawn won those six races with Jenson Button in 2009, it's all about getting the points in the bag and putting pressure on the other teams.

Camera model: Nikon D4 Exposure time: 1/400s Aperture: F11 No flash ISO speed: 400 Lens: 70-200mm zoom © Sutton Images
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I really like this picture as it is a unique angle of the opening season shot. For this one I am actually stood in the box where Charlie Whiting is at the start of the race, and where the chequered flag is waved from at the end. It's such a nice picture because it shows all the photographers and the media that come to a grand prix, it's not just 20 or so who turn up. It's very well organised, it's all about precision, the Australian organisers bring out a truck which lays a grandstand-type thing for us to stand on in stacks. It's made very easy, we are all working together for the same picture, some down low and some high up. We then go into the drivers' parade which it flows quite nicely into afterwards, they then go to the grid and then the race is underway so it all goes pretty quickly from that point.

Camera model: Nikon D4 Exposure time:1/400 s Aperture: F16 Flash ISO speed: 640 Lens: 24-70mm Zoom © Sutton Images
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It's the usual story with this one. Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull was very close to the Sauber and Adrian Newey had wandered over. He does it every race but he is so blatant! There was one point when [Sauber team principal] Monisha Kaltenborn sort of walked past and grinned at him, but she was more concerned about talking to the engineers and the driver. It was just a funny moment, he just doesn't care. I guess he looks at other cars and can immediately see what direction they are going in. He might just see something that might work or might not work, but all the teams are doing the same thing. I would not call it espionage or cheating or anything like that. Newey is very much an investigator of other cars, he loves going round to see what other guys are doing. It's fascinating to see.

Camera model: Nikon D4 Exposure time: 1/1000s Aperture: F8 No flash ISO speed : 400 Lens: 70-200mm Zoom © Sutton Images
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This is taken in a tower they set up for us, which we are grateful they put up every year. It's a great position, it's good down low as well but the advantage with the tower is that you can see the stream of cars coming through. I like this one as Rosberg is so far ahead of the field already, with Daniel Ricciardo and Lewis Hamilton further back. In the background you have the Kobayashi and Massa incident going on in the background, mid-collision. Incidents at the first corner are a weird one because you're thinking 'right, I need a start picture', but then you see the crash out of the corner of your eye and you think you need to go higher up in case it gets any worse. Patrick, our guy who shot the head on start, did not even see the crash because he was following the other cars around. It's a nice start shot, with the incident and the packed grandstand in the background.

Camera model: Nikon D4 Exposure time: 1/1000 s Aperture: F7.1 No flash ISO speed: 800 Lens: 500mm telephoto © Sutton Images
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I didn't have the radio with me for this one. I was watching TV on the screens around the track and I saw they were doing close-ups of Jenson Button's nose. Interestingly, for the first time ever you can actually hear the track-side commentator over the noise of the engines. The constant drone of the turbo engine is still quite loud but we don't really need earplugs any more, and that's where I heard that he had broken his nose. I thought, "right, I need to get this picture", and this one is at Turn Two when he's going at around 130 or 140 mph so it's a pan shot with the nose. It's quite amazing he managed to finish third and that it didn't compromise his performance too much. Maybe he felt the breeze on his feet!

Camera model: Nikon D4 Exposure time: 1/400s Aperture: F16 Flash ISO speed: 640 Lens: 24-70mm Zoom © Sutton Images
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I was quite surprised this one of Fernando Alonso (right) came out so well. There was talk about us being banned from the grid before the start of races this year but luckily that did not happen, the FIA pushed for us to stay there, and now we get 15 minutes. We love the grid because it's a great place to get drivers out of the car. This was about five minutes before I had to leave. I'm not actually lying down there but I've angled the picture up. It's a bit of experience and it's a bit of luck, to be honest. If you watched him every race you might find out which side he steps out because drivers can be superstitious like that but I didn't know and it was lucky he stepped out the same side I was standing. I would say it's nearly the perfect picture really. It's one of those you can tick off for the year, it's nice as it's something different.

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