Mark Sutton – Life Through a Lens – Monaco Grand Prix – Joy and despair in the principality


Monaco Grand Prix Race

Nikon D4s | Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F10.

Backing up

This is where Nico Rosberg was holding the pack up behind the safety car before going for it. The funny thing with this was I was in the queue for the podium but was able to come back to where I’d been all race when the safety car out. That meant I missed Lewis Hamilton’s crucial pit stop because I didn’t think anyone would stop – why would you stop!? – so I ran to get pictures of the cars behind the safety car. It was all a bit of a debacle and this turned out to be the big story of the race. It’s still hard to understand why Mercedes decided to pit Lewis but watching it back you can see a few errors – he had a slow stop, he probably got caught behind the safety car. All in all, this moment was as big a surprise for the photographers as the fans because Lewis had been leading all race and suddenly was third.

(L to R): Second placed Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari, race winner Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 and third placed Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 on the podium at Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix Race, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday 24 May 2015. BEST IMAGE

Nikon D4s | Nikkor 70-200 F2.8 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F5.6.

Contrasting emotions

This is a wider shot which really works because of the contrasting emotions for all three men. Everyone knew that he was a bit peeved off and when he came in and whacked the number three board I thought there could be fireworks. He’d also stopped at the circuit at Portier, so there was clearly a lot of emotion immediately after the race. Maybe he was thinking of getting out of his car and going straight to his flat! He definitely didn’t want to do that podium. He turned up, looked glum, didn’t want to spray champagne, didn’t want the trophy – in fact he left the trophy behind! It was just sat there and then they just picked it up and handed it to the Mercedes guys. He walked away from the celebrations with a bottle of champagne by his side. It was all a bit strange, this podium, it was Nico celebrating, Seb smiling and Lewis with a glum face. But anybody in that situation would have been worse; he was actually quite calm and professional about the whole thing.

Monaco Grand Prix Race

Nikon D4s | Nikkor 200-400 F4 ED | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F5.6.

Hat-trick celebrations

This is a classic Rosberg celebration shot. I don’t understand how some fans could be upset with the exuberance he celebrated with. At that moment, he’s won a race – it’s only after the race is done he would have seen the bare facts and he did admit on numerous occasions that the win was the luckiest of his career. Rosberg has a great habit of celebrating by swooping his arms around while pointing his fingers in the air. After all, he joined pretty elite company by winning this race for the third time in a row – only Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Graham Hill managed that. The celebration was good and you need to have that contrast between him and Lewis! I wanted to show it because that what this sport is about, winning and losing. His celebration reminds me of what German fans do with their flags before a football game, swinging them around their heads. It reminded me of what I saw when I watched Manchester United play Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp in 1999… though they all disappeared pretty quickly when United beat them that night!


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