The day started like all days on the road do. Waking up in an anonymous motel, head buzzing with the plans for the day, and Formula 1 being the furthest from my mind. It was going to be a reasonably easy day. I was commissioned to shoot a car whilst it was undergoing development testing driven by the Stig. Some say he’s a really nice guy. I say, I agree.
I arrived nice and early and signed on with race control and was taken out on track in the fire truck for my safety briefing. If only this happened at circuits like Spa and Le Mans!
Track development days can be problematic with the car spending lots of time in the garage and short bursts on track so I got myself trackside with the choice of a couple of shooting positions and waited.
The plan was for a race simulation run which would give me a chance to get some shots in the can. The Stig identified a number of required improvements which involved sourcing new parts and a period of downtime and this set the scene for the rest of the day. Getting the nod and rushing out trackside to get some shots and going back to the paddock while the car was fettled and catching up on editing.
The day ended with an improved car, 5 seconds off the previous best time, a batch of images and a delighted client.
It had been a long hard day and the prospect of a long drive home didn’t thrill me, but at least I was leaving late enough to miss the rush hour. The journey was uneventful apart from a coffee stop and a check of my emails. In amongst the junk mail one entitled “Silverstone Formula 1” piqued my interest . Unfortunately one of the VMP photographers who had accreditation wasn’t able to attend and did I want to take his place?
I had heard horror stories about the Formula 1 accreditation process, so at this late stage, just over a week to go before the race, and long after the closing date for applications, I wasn’t going to hold my breath. I called Glen just to check that it wasn’t him being mischievous. From the tone of his voice (mild shock and surprise) he was deadly serious. We hatched a plan of what we had to do to submit our application and request to transfer accreditation.
The days ticked by, thoughts of “no news is good news” circling in my head and my heart skipping a beat every time my phone bleeped to herald the arrival of an email – still no news.
Convinced that it was an opportunity missed and resolving to be satisfied to ‘just’ shoot GP2 and GP3 I put it to the back of my mind.
I was busy dealing with emails and despite being on the edge of my seat for the last few days an email dropped into my inbox without ceremony. It was the email I was hoping for.
“Further to an examination of your accreditation application for the Formula 1 2015 BRITISH GRAND PRIX, your request has been approved. The FIA has therefore decided to accredit the following representative(s) of Formula 1 – VIRTUALMOTORPIX: MOUNTNEY JOHN”
As you can imagine I am excited, apprehensive and pacing round like an expectant father. I have formed a plan, a timetable. I get the feeling that the next few days are going to be a blur. Follow me on Twitter and when it’s all done I’ll tell you how I got on.
Written by: John Mountney