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F1 big picture

Darren Heath Barichello

Our series of photos aimed at showing a different side of Formula 1 continues with an intimate shot of Rubens Barrichello relaxing before the Italian Grand Prix.

The photographs are taken by Darren Heath, who over the last 20 years has carved a reputation as one of the best photographers working within the sport.

This is Darren's story behind his latest image:

"Laid back and chilling out before the storm, Rubens Barrichello has seen it all before, the weathered Monza barriers providing the perfect shaded backrest just minutes before zipping up his race suit, pulling on his balaclava, tightening the chin strap on his helmet, squeezing into his Brawn car and driving 53 perfect race-winning laps of the legendary Italian track.

"An F1 grid is a special place and one no-one ever tires of. The level of anticipation is turned up to 10, the cars arrive, the drivers and teams do their last minute checks, television crews thrust microphones this way and that, politicians parade and celebrities pose. Every inch of asphalt is alive with excitement.

"Amid all this chaos, the occasional oasis of calm can be found and that's exactly where Barrichello is.

"I love working the grid and thrive on the fantastic 20 minutes of opportunity it provides. It is the only time over a grand prix weekend when all the cars, drivers, team members and so on are there to be photographed.

"Often I'll have a plan of attack, concentrating on particular areas to work. But at this year's Italian race I just went with the flow.

"Moving quickly between cars I had perhaps my best pre-race shoot of the year, bagging great shots of Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel, Heikki Kovalainen, Adrian Sutil, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and, of course, Barrichello.

"I've known Rubens for almost 20 years so perhaps his easy grin is a reflection of all the shoots we've done together. From the race tracks of the world to his beautiful farm in Brazil he's always been a joy to work with.

"Congratulations Rubinho!

Camera: Canon EOS1DS Mark3. Lens: 50mm Exposure: 500th sec @ f2.0



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