A Different Point of View

I thought I’d do this month’s editor’s note differently. I had a lot of fun at the tail end of September, even though it pretty much burnt me out, it was one heck of an experience.

So have somewhat given you some brief coverage of the Singapore Grand Prix over on our facebook page but I was also doing some press work for Power 98FM and I though I’d snap a few photos to show you what it’s like at the paddock.

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This was just before the final practice run before qualifying and what you see every few minutes are drivers and bosses walking around from their hospitality suites to their garages. There are also tours going on and even the press from all over the world just waiting to take a snap shot of a formula 1 superstar.

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So there I was minding my own business and look who I see, Fernando Alonso walking to his garage. I turn around and I see Mercedes Team Principal Ross Brawn just standing there having a conversation.

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I noticed that so many members of the press (including myself) would just take photos of them even while their deep in conversation and what I really admire is how they just go about their business like it doesn’t bother them. Perhaps they are used to it or they’ve learned to live with it.

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I honestly don’t think I’d enjoy having the press hounding me for every photo opportunity. Here’s Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner in a very relaxed mood (duh his team are on top) right in front of the Red Bull Racing hospitality suite.

Actually I’ve done some work for Red Bull Racing in the past 2 years and I must say they are one of the most hospitable teams on the grid. They are always happy to entertain the press and if you enter the suite, the food spread is there for the taking, no questions asked!

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This is the coolest garage entrance at the paddock for sure! Just look at how futuristic it is with that long dark tunnel leading inside on the right.

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My desk was just above the Ferrari garage so once free practice started, you could see some of the teams roar out and when they come back, that’s the best time to snap shots because they have to travel slower in the pit lane.

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Most of the time they’d do like 2 or 3 laps which takes up maybe 5 or 6 mins and then come back to analyze data so the pit crew have to push the car all the way back into the garage. Again, photo op!

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It’s really quite amazing to be able to look at these cares from just 1 floor above, see how the pit crew quickly change tires or talk to the drivers. We’ve seen it on TV but to be there in person is really something else altogether.

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It doesn’t quite end there though. Once free practice is done, all the reporters are on standby to get quick interviews before the qualifying session and not all the drivers come out the garage immediately. Some stay because there are still tours going on while others perhaps to look at the data they’ve collected and discuss their chances with their respective engineers.

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I managed to sneak a shot of Lewis Hamilton walking at super speed to the Mercedes suite. They can be quite stealthy so not everyone might notice them, perhaps in a bid to avoid reporters.

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Even Jensen Button took his own sweet time to come out of his garage. I actually didn’t notice till it was too late so I kinda just fired my camera without looking.

I thought about going back on race day with my trusty digital camera but there’s a bit of a tradition I indulge in with my friends so I decided not to.

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And it’s none other than the annual Singapore GP Race Day Picnic at the Padang! Beer, junk food, the race on the big screen and the sound of the engines on the track……..heaven!

By Elliott Danker

Editor of POPCulture Online

© POPCulture Online 2013, All Rights Reserved

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