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The British F1 Grand Prix 2022

The 2022 British Grand Prix was an event that I have been looking forward to since I walked out the Silverstone gates in 2021. Its one thing to watch the race live on TV...but it is something else entirely to be on site, soak in the atmosphere and unlike some other sports, sit among fans of all drivers and teams and feel the swell of excitement as your favourite driver passes their favourite driver...and the gut punch as your driver picks up a puncture (i'm looking at you Max Verstappen!)

Sergio Perez on his charge from last to P2 (Photos by Alex Shute Photography)

2021 was my first Grand Prix after, like many people, my exposure to Netflix 'Drive to Survive' and being brought back to the sport having lapsed some time around Jenson Buttons Championship win. The game has very much changed since then. The performance of the vehicles, the competitive nature of the drivers and the celebrity that has grown around the sport. It has made the spectacle very photogenic.

Race winner Carlos Sainz (Photos by Alex Shute Photography)

Race winner Carlos Sainz during his pre race Drivers Parade (Photos by Alex Shute Photography)

I have positioned myself on the Luffield Grandstand as it is a slower part of the track and offers fantastic views of the approach, corner and the high acceleration section passed the old pit lane. From a photography point of view, there are two options. Attack from a slower section of track to capture the car and the scene, or from a faster section of track to create motion blur in the background. At least for this year, I chose the former. I wanted sharp images of the cars and drivers as they passed. In future years I will no doubt reposition to other, higher speed sections of the track to vary the images I produce.

Estaban Ocon picks up a flat tyre after the opening lap collision involving Mercedes, Williams and Alfa Romeo. Photos by Alex Shute Photography

As an additional treat, Sebastian Vettel was celebrating his birthday and before the race, took out Nigel Mansell's former F1 car, which Vettel now owns, for a few laps of Silverstone. It was incredible to hear the sound of the old cars again and being able to identify the changes from then to now with the modern Hybrid vehicles.

Sebastian Vettel drives Nigel Mansells F1 car around Silverstone (Photos by Alex Shute Photography)

For those who want to know the camera specifics, all these images were shot with a Canon 1DX Mark 3 with a Tamron 150-600mm G2. In terms of settings, AI Servo is a must in order to capture the cars in motion. I use 1/1600 to freeze the action but leave ISO on auto. Its hard enough trying to keep up with the action on track without worrying about adjusting ISO!

Daniel Ricciardo struggled through the Grand Prix for pace in his Mclaren. (Photos by Alex Shute Photography)

On top of the racing, the other highlight for me as a photographer was the Red Arrows Display, a similar highlight from the 2021 event. The display is commentated by a member of the team over the site PA system which provides detail you would otherwise never know, coupled with radio contact with the flight leader. These jets are fast and it provides a real challenge to capture not only the planes with good clarity, but the display they are putting on.

The Red Arrows put on an incredible display over Silverstone (Photos by Alex Shute Photography)

There are moments of high exhilaration as the jets pass each other, seemingly within meters, at high speed.

Two Red Arrow jets pass so close it looks like they could touch. (Photos by Alex Shute Photography)

Below are a selection of my other images from the Red Arrows display from the 2022 British Grand Prix.

More images of The Red Arrows display above Silverstone at the British Grand Prix. (Photos by Alex Shute Photography)

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