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GP Week : Issue 36
Letters A day in the life… email us at firstname.lastname@example.org All is well in New Zealand! Even though it was a cliff- hanger, and with some sympathy for Felipe Mssa, who seems like an okay guy, the right driver finally won the 2008 F1 championship. When you add up the number of points taken away from McLaren, and Hamiton in particular, by the FIA and its bumbling stewards, it is a modern day miracle that he remained in contention. To beat not only Ferrari, but the FIA as well ... top work! So, priority one, as already discussed by teams and drivers, is the introduction of permanent stewards, including at least one who drove F1, if not something close to it. Disappointment of the year? I must agree with your recent opinion – Kimi Raikkonen must be the most over-paid, underperforming person in professional sport. Enough said. What will 2009 bring? I hope the aero changes allow one or more teams to jump forward and give McLaren/Ferrari some competition. Webber v Vettel at Red Bull – the most interesting new team- mate competition of the year. Can't wait, already! Michael R Kennedy Auckland (NZ) Mourning the loss of 250s Congratulations on a great, new concept magazine, which I discovered part way through the year. Being Spanish, there is a great interest in both F1 and MotoGP here now. Like your writer Mr Scott, I am disappointed that 250cc racing as we now have it will be no more. It is the perfect training for MotoGP and should remain as it is. Alejandro Delgardo Barcelona (Spain) 22 So you thought the life of an F1 photographer was all wine and glam, and anybody could do it .... WiLL Buxton GPWeek Editor YOU stand there, waiting, for what seems like an age. Equipment checked and double checked, raincoat in your back pocket, a bottle of water by your side you stand your ground, peering into the distance. And then it begins. “That’ll be the Force Indias,” James smiles. “Then the Toro Rossos and a Toyota.” Sure enough, the cars appear in the exact order James had predicted. “Sounds like a Honda next,” he smiles as Jenson Button arrives into view. I’d been fortunate enough to land a photographer’s tabard for the Brazilian Grand Prix, and in the first practice session was taken out for my first shot (pardon the pun) at photography with Sutton Images’ James Moy. James used to write a column for me many years ago, entitled “How to take photos like the pros.” It’s how we originally became friends and it used lots of language I didn’t understand then, and was still bewildered by in Brazil. Aperture, shutter speed, Mark 2, “widey”, exposure … sorry mate, what? We were shooting the rise out of Juncao, and had to wait until we heard the cars before panning and catching them immediately ahead of us, shooting uphill into Subida dos Boxes. James set the camera up for me, focussed it perfectly, made sure the shutter speed was okay, and (having made sure he’d already got every car from this angle) left the camera in my hands. Easy, thought I. But I was oh so very wrong. Of the 100 or so frames I shot in that position, I later found out that 95 percent were soft and that the five percent which were in focus only featured one third of a car … usually the rear diffuser. So we changed position to the infamous favela shot of the cars in much the same position as before, but from the other side of the circuit. With longer to prepare, my shots should, one would have assumed, been much better. They weren’t. If anything they were getting worse. The camera bore heavy on my arms and my neck strained with the constant twisting of body, repeated every five seconds or more. Then, my chance. Hamilton slowed in front of my position, as if sensing I needed a calmer moment to impress my tutor. I shot what I knew would be my two best shots of the day. Beautifully composed, car dead centre of the shot … but so out of focus it looked like I’d smeared the lens in Vaseline. Formula 1 photography is no easy task. You need to have incredible patience, and yet lightning reactions. You need a steady hand and an eye for the beautiful. It is a science and an art where second chances do not exist, where the culmination of one’s knowledge and talent is condensed into a millisecond of time which can never be repeated but which the very best at their game are able, with seemingly consummate ease, to capture for all eternity. The pages of this magazine have been furnished by the imagery of some of the best photographers around in this sport today. Spending just that one session with James reinforced the unbelievable work that they do in capturing this fast-paced and ever-evolving sport. So, to Keith, Mark, James, Gareth, Edd, Elliott and Matthew, not to mention the many photographers whose work has graced the pages of this publication from outside Formula 1, our unending thanks. We wouldn’t have a magazine without you. To see Sutton Images' best shots of the year, turn to page 42. opinion