Life Through a Lens: Chinese Grand Prix

F1 photographer Mark Sutton talks through his favourite shots from the Chinese Grand Prix.


Camera model: NIKON D5 | Exposure time: 1/1000 s | Aperture: F7.1 | ISO speed : 200 | Lens: 500mm Telephoto

This was one of the key moments of the race and pretty dramatic. You get plenty of time to see them coming down the backstraight in China when standing where I was and the tyre actually blew out with quite a way to go. This shot is good as you've got Ricciardo trying to navigate the turn and keep an eye on his mirrors, he needs to get on the inside to pit at the next corner but he's about to be passed by everyone as well. This is the tyre of shot you see happen in front of you and you just shoot through the corner. An added bonus is that it always creates a great shot when the tyre comes completely off the wheel like that.


Camera model: NIKON D5 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F5 | ISO speed: 400 | Lens: 500mm Telephoto

I imagine this was a bit of an awkward moment for Sebastian Vettel. Immediately after the race he hunted Kimi Raikkonen down and was gesticulating quite a lot with his hands, probably trying to explain what happened in the build-up to their contact at Turn 1. This obviously continue with him and Daniil Kvyat before the podium ceremony but it showed that Vettel's immediate thoughts after the race were about making things right with Raikkonen. The framing looks tight and that's because of where all this took place -- while all this was happening, Nico Rosberg is not too far away celebrating on his car in parc ferme, the shots I would usually be snapping from this sort of vantage point.

Six in a row

Camera model: NIKON D4S | Exposure time: 1/1600s | Aperture: F5.6 | ISO speed: 200 | Lens: 70-200mm Zoom

It must have been a pretty lonely race for Nico Rosberg. He led from the front and sometimes its easy to overlook the job that goes into winning a race when you lead the entire grand prix. These are always good shots, Rosberg here is crossing the line and waving to his guys on the pit wall -- people always want to see some emotion from their drivers, win or lose. Things have gone pretty perfectly for him this season and if anything it's a great way for 2016 to unfold because now the onus is on Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari to catch up.

The centre of attention

Camera model : NIKON D4S | Exposure time: 1/1600s | Aperture: F5.6 | ISO speed: 200 | Lens: 70-200mm Zoom

This is similar to the shot from Bahrain behind Lewis, with all the photographers snapping him. This was just before the drivers' parade but instead of joining those guys on the floor I thought I would do something a little different and shoot from above. Sometimes doing that helps you get a greater perspective of what the drivers see and what is around them. This is another example of the attention Lewis has during a race weekend and of course he's got that phone with him!

Paddock glamour

Camera model: NIKON D5 | Exposure time: 1/8000s | Aperture: F4 | ISO speed: 1600 | Lens: 500mm Telephoto

This was on Saturday before qualifying. There are always grid girls in the paddock and they are usually dressed differently depending on where the race is being held. These were quite striking outfits and this girl stuck out -- the rest of her colleagues are blurred due to the type of lens I'm using. As a photography agency you always wanted to provide as many photos from a race weekend and this type of shot adds some nice colour and variety to what we deliver.