F1 at Spa – Chasing the Dream

Ever since I first used a camera to photograph a moving car, I knew that this was what I wanted to do with my life. When you dedicate yourself to an art, despite what some might say, you always set personal goals. Some big, some small, but for as long as I can remember I’ve always dreamt of shooting a full grand prix weekend. I definitely wouldn’t consider myself a Formula One anorak or anything, but I’ve always found myself drawn to the visual impact of the pinnacle of motorsport. The speed, the glamour, the history, the prestige, the personalities, the circuits, the technology. Need I go on?

The biggest hurdle in achieving F1 accreditation is the act of getting accredited in the first place. From the day I applied, to the day I received notice of accreditation was around three months. Needless to say, this isn’t your average local event where the criteria of ‘have camera, will shoot’ apply. Even when you’re accredited, you realise that there are different stages of accreditation too. The full season photographers obviously have more access than those who are covering on a race-by-race basis, which in my opinion is perfectly fair. For me, this was my chance to try my hand at shooting some of the fastest objects on four wheels that you can find anywhere on this planet. In this case, some access is certainly better than none.

Spa Francorchamps is for me, the greatest circuit on the Formula One calendar. Set amidst the rolling Ardennes forest, it challenges both drivers and photographers alike. It’s easy to get the typical Spa shots, but seeking out that new angle was always going to be a challenge. Added to that the sheer speed of the Formula One cars and you have a challenge worth tackling.

With hindsight being 50/50 and all that, I would most certainly done a lot of things differently but by and large, I’m happy with what I’ve come away with. You can check out my coverage at the link below for Speedhunters, or you can continue your scrolling adventure through 40 of my favourite images from the weekend.

/// The 2013 Belgian Grand Prix on Speedhunters