Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

2008 in pictures (Part 1) // Our annual round up of the season through the photographic medium

Published by Christine

As part of our end of year round up, we like to take a look back at our year through the eyes of our camera lens. Usually, all the good photos are posted to our Flickr account, but this is the place for those photos that tell a story although they aren't quite up to my personal publishable standards.

Autosport International

Henry Hope-Frost and Mark Webber
Credit: Sidepodcast

AI is a good way to kick off the motorsport year, breaking us into the Formula 1 world after a festive season of working on the website. In 2008, my main mission was to collect as much junk as possible, although it left me feeling unfulfilled and wishing I'd paid a bit more attention. One thing I did pay attention to, however, is the Main Stage, which hosted several famous faces. We saw Jenson talking candidly about his hopes for the Honda team, and as the above demonstrates, we saw Webber, discussing his Tasmania Challenge and how Red Bull would be performing in the coming season.

The reason I've chosen this photo for the 2008 In... series is because it also features Henry Hope-Frost. At the time, I had no idea who he was, and Mr C was vaguely aware of him from the Autosport podcast. For reasons unknown, he didn't come across well during these interviews. It's a difficult performance to give, with the stage being double sided, F1 drivers being usually reluctant to talk, and the usual pressures of keeping to the schedule. I can understand why he seemed a bit hassled.

Roll on six months though, and we caught up with Mr Hope-Frost at the British GP. He was a brilliant guy, really funny, and certainly an under-used talent at Autosport. I like this photo because it reminds me not to judge people based on one glimpse of them, the same way we shouldn't judge Formula 1 drivers on one bad performance. That being the case, Nakajima, you are forgiven.

Silverstone test

BMW pits at Silverstone
Credit: Sidepodcast

This was my first attendance at a test, after Mr C scuttled off by himself last year. I had a really good time, but only because of our Silverstone Racing Club tickets. If you've listened to the podcast related to this outing, you'll know that we were quite impressed with the benefits of being an SRC member. Special car park, access to food, facilities and a grandstand, but most importantly, access to the paddock in the afternoon. We recommended the tickets highly, but now there's no in season testing and Silverstone are losing their grip on the Grand Prix itself, it's perhaps not such a good investment.

Nevertheless, at the time we were unaware of all this and I was particularly looking forward to the pit lane walk. However, once inside the sacred stretch of concrete, there was very little to see. The above picture was taken thanks to the long reach of Mr C's arms. Never has being of regular height been such a disadvantage.

I can understand that the teams don't invite the public to come and gawp at them as they work through their lunch, and that it is the circuit that allow the access. However, they don't appear to be doing anything particularly secret. It's nothing we don't see on the television during a race weekend. If the teams are worried about their competitors getting a glimpse, wouldn't they need to keep shut through the whole day? It was such a disappointment, with only Force India allowing fans a peek into their garage. Thankfully, I married a tall man and can foil the other teams plans.

British GP

STR pitwall at Silverstone
Credit: Sidepodcast

It's very easy to rave about what a great time we had at the British Grand Prix this year, because it was amazing. However, it was also a miserable experience. Forget the fact that I caught the worst cold I've ever had from sleeping in a cardboard bread bin in a freezing cold field. Forget the fact that it was a bit rainy. Silverstone is a nasty place to be.

When the action is going, particularly if the sun is out, you can be forgiven for getting all sentimental about the place. The history is plain to see, the power of Formula 1 can overwhelm you as the cars speed around each fabled corner. Turn the sun off for even a second, though, and it's not a fun place to be. The walkways get muddy, the majority of grandstands are uncovered, and don't get me started on the rotten bridge.

Sunday, this year, was completely drenched, and the above picture proves that even the teams have to take special measures to try and survive a weekend in the British countryside.

That was the first half of our year in pictures, don't forget to check out Part 2.