A couple of weeks ago I was lucky to have the opportunity to cover Formula One at the United States Grand Prix (USGP) at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. Photographing an F1 event has been high on my list of goals and to be able to do this at a championship winning race was a dream come true. Many thanks to all who made this possible. The next few of blogs will chronicle my daily experiences. First up is a walk around the paddock, driver interviews, and fan walk. Hope you like the photos.
(iPhone photo) – Left Boston early Wednesday morning and arrived at Austin a few hours later. As I was walking through the airport, saw a cool “Welcome to Austin” sign with an F1 car racing through the city. Picked up my rental car then headed off to COTA.
(iPhone photo) – After getting my media credentials and photo vest, I was asked to pick a location in the media center and by chance got position F1.
(iPhone photo) – Looked up and still couldn’t believe I was here.
The paddock was in the process of being put together by the crews, so took photos of the iconic signage for some of the F1 teams.
Upon leaving the track I could see dark clouds forming in the sky, which would be an ominous sign of things to come.
Thursday was preparation day. The paddock was a hive of activity with teams unpacking crates and setting up there garages and COTA setting up the facility. Was a good opportunity to get shots of the drivers entering the paddock and being interviewed. #77 Williams Martini Racing driver Valtteri Bottas passing through an entry gate.
Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers Carlos Sainz (top) and Max Verstappen (bottom) during interviews.
Scuderia Ferrari team members in the paddock.
Intermediates and slicks. Proper tire selection would play an important role during this weekends inclimate and changing weather conditions.
In the afternoon a drivers press conference was held in the media center. Seated in the front row were Kimi Räikkönen (Scuderia Ferrari), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team), and Alexander Rossi (Manor Marussia F1 Team). In the second row were Marcus Ericsson (Sauber F1 Team), Valtteri Bottas (Williams Martini Racing), Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing).
After the press conference in the media center, the drivers met the press in the paddock. Lewis Hamilton at the center of media attention with Will Buxton (second from the left) and Jennie Gow (second from the right).
The ever smiling Daniel Ricciardo.
In the late afternoon under overcast skies the teams assembled there cars and pushed them down pit lane to scrutineering under the watchful eyes of fans.
Was interesting to see the variety of steering wheels used by the different teams.
Mechanics were also busy preparing other cars. The #44 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One F1 W06 Hybrid.
The garage lights really made the livery on the Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB11 “pop”.
Drivers were also being fitted into there cars. Sebastian Vettel from Scuderia Ferrari.
Pit stop practice was cool to see.
As the afternoon progressed, more and more fans entered the pit area.
Was great to see the drivers come out of there garages to meet the fans, sign autographs, and take selfies. Nico Rosberg (top) and Lewis Hamilton (bottom).
Lewis Hamilton North American Fans.
Was great to see Lewis Hamilton enjoying the fan walk.
The “Flying Scot”, Sir Jackie Stewart, three time Formula One champion.
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