The weather couldn’t have been more perfect this morning. Cool conditions with a light breeze. It almost felt cold. Almost. The FIA had the cars on track right on the mark at 10AM local time and they wasted no time laying down rubber and setting the groove on the green COTA surface. I started my morning in turn 9, catching the cars as they snaked their way up the hill through the turn 8-9 complex. Then I made my way over to turn ten, to get the well liked, cover girl shot as the cars crest the hill before ten, with the COTA tower in the background. If you saw my early post on Facebook this morning then you saw where I was…along with 30 other shooters. Pick any major publication/website, and you’ll see that shot. It’s a nice shot, but it was way too crowded there for me to spend any time, so I moved on.
From there I made my way over to turn 11 for just a few shots, and then hitched a shuttle ride down the seemingly never-ending back straight into the stadium section. I enjoyed prospecting in this area. A few unique angles in the limited holes cut in the COTA fencing for photographers. There could be a few more, but I can’t complain, at least there were some. I finished the morning session down in turn 19 and then hitched a shuttle back to the media center. Pretty routine morning, all in all.
For the afternoon session, I figured I’d check out the inside of the track. Choices were, again, somewhat limited, and a few of the prime areas were covered by video crews or billboards so tall they blocked the view. Made for a challenging afternoon. I honestly figured I’d shoot somewhere between 3-4,000 shots a day, and as of right now I only shot about 2,500 frames. Light day.
The biggest news to come from FP2 was that Sebastian Vettel will be starting from Pit Lane on Sunday, regardless of how he does in qualifying tomorrow. Unfortunately, he had some problems with the systems on his vehicle, forcing the team to change the engine, trans, and several other components. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem, except he’s already run through his season allotment of five, and this, his sixth, is the reason for the penalty. A tough challenge for the four-time champ and last year’s winner of this Grand Prix. In the first two years of this race, he has not finished worse than second. Here are a few of my favorite photos from the two practice sessions today.
Stay tuned. There will more tomorrow.