2015 – F1 USGP paddock, drivers, and fan walk at COTA (Oct 21 and 22)

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.

Wednesday

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(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.
2015_F1_USGP_IMG_0700(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.

2015_F1_USGP_4A4A1517(iPhone photo) – Looked up and still couldn’t believe I was here.

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2015_USGP_4A4A1530The 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.

2015_USGP_4A4A1539Upon leaving the track I could see dark clouds forming in the sky, which would be an ominous sign of things to come.

Thursday

2015_USGP_HC7A9664Thursday 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.

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2015_USGP_HC7A9654Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers Carlos Sainz (top) and Max Verstappen (bottom) during interviews.

2015_USGP_HC7A9572Scuderia Ferrari team members in the paddock.

2015_USGP_HC7A9601Intermediates and slicks. Proper tire selection would play an important role during this weekends inclimate and changing weather conditions.

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2015_USGP_222A1073In 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).

2015_USGP_HC7A9825After 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).

2015_USGP_222A1283The ever smiling Daniel Ricciardo.

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2015_USGP_HC7A9922In 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.

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2015_USGP_HC7A9955Was interesting to see the variety of steering wheels used by the different teams.

2015_USGP_HC7A9859Mechanics were also busy preparing other cars. The #44 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One F1 W06 Hybrid.

2015_USGP_222A1331The garage lights really made the livery on the Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB11 “pop”.

2015_USGP_222A1354Drivers were also being fitted into there cars. Sebastian Vettel from Scuderia Ferrari.

2015_USGP_4A4A1657Pit stop practice was cool to see.

2015_USGP_HC7A9919As the afternoon progressed, more and more fans entered the pit area.

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2015_USGP_4A4A1641Was 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).

2015_USGP_4A4A1694Lewis Hamilton North American Fans.

2015_USGP_HC7A9935Was great to see Lewis Hamilton enjoying the fan walk.

2015_USGP_HC7A9951The “Flying Scot”, Sir Jackie Stewart, three time Formula One champion.

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