Alice Dellal on shooting Formula 1
Words by Katya Foreman
“You can feel the cars vibrating through your body,” says Alice Dellal of her experience shooting Formula 1 as the Official Martini Race Photographer. “At the track, the smell of fumes, burnt rubber and oil is all around the garages and pit lanes; in the stands, it’s a mix of sunscreen and food.”
“It’s super important to me to keep the socio–realism alive in the environment I’m in. I wanted to be able to differentiate the images from each other,” continues Dellal. “With each city comes a different history, architecture, people and culture and it was my aim to reflect this in the images.”
More used to hanging with jet–set glamazons than grease monkeys, Dellal, who in total will cover six circuits as part of the Williams Martini Racing entourage, including Singapore, Mexico City and Monza, likes to take an organic approach to the gig, contemplating her surroundings and taking shots “from whichever way feels most natural at that moment”. Her tool: an Olympus Pen F.
But the sheer speed of Formula 1 as a sport has changed the pace. “You have to be really nimble—seize the moment and be prepared to take inspiration from the most unexpected areas. It’s also a very secretive sport—there can be milliseconds separating the cars so the teams are protective of how much they want other teams to know,” she says. “I have to balance capturing exclusive behind–the–scenes stu in the garage with not spilling secrets to the competition.”
Last stop will be Sao Paolo, a return to the British–Brazilian punk heiress and model’s roots. “My mother is Brazilian and it’s a country that I love and have always been fascinated by,” says Dellal. “The atmosphere is always exciting, the people are so much fun and I hope to be able to capture the feel of the country in my photography.”
This story was published in Honore #2