Views from Stand 12: Montreal F1 Grand Prix
I always enjoy going back to what got me into photography in the first place: motorsports and more specifically, Formula 1 Grand Prix racing. The Montreal F1 GP traditionally marks the beginning of the legendary summer of festivals in the city, which is probably the liveliest during this very special week. Good-looking people, good-looking cars, insane noise levels, cars whizzing by at 300+ kph, the sweet smell of burnt rubber and carbon brakes, what is there not to like?!?
Sections 6 and 7 of Stand 12 around row MM are probably the best seats in the house to experience racing and to shoot cars on the track. From that privileged vantage point, you can see from the infamous wall of champions to the beginning of the back straight including a very good view of the pits and obviously of the Senna curves. That’s about a quarter of the track.
This year’s championship features 6 world champions, something unheard of. It helps that champions are made much earlier in their career than it used to be. Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren silver arrow posted the quickest time of the day but the two Ferraris are closely following. It should make for a very competitive weekend.
Shooting from the stands makes for an interesting exercise of trying to pan without hitting anybody on the head. The combination of cramped spaces, lots of beer and a long telephoto lens seems like a perfect recipe to piss a neighbour off bad so it seems to me like a minor miracle every time that I go through a race day without such a mishap. Still dreaming of getting a press pass one day to shoot from track level.
Here is a selection of pictures covering all 12 teams from both Friday practice sessions. The weather was mostly overcast and the luminosity levels changed quite a bit during the day.
Technical notes: shot with a Canon 5D Mk II and a Sigma 120-300 mm f/2.8 OS lens and Canon 1.4x and 2x extenders (Mk II). Mostly at ISO100 but up to ISO400 towards the end of the day.