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An interview with Daisy Facinelli

Updated: Aug 18, 2022

Conducted by Fatima Ahmed, Edited by Ishani Aziz

Credit: Darren Heath

Daisy Facinelli is an Italian Formula 1 photographer born and raised in a small town in Northern Italy, in the province of Trento.

Q: Where did your love for photography and F1 come from? When did you decide to merge the two?

A: When I was 14 I said to my mother “I want to be a photographer”. I don't know where the love for photography came from because nobody in the family had this passion. I remember that at 4 we had a film camera and I managed to make Barbie and Ken stand alone in order to take a picture of them… and the film ran out. Mom got very angry because at that time developing the photographs cost a lot. Since I was a child I used to watch Formula 1 with my father and my brother when Michael Schumacher, Villeneuve and Barrichello were there… I remember how tears were yesterday for Senna's accident. Then I detached myself a little from this world ... only a little over a year ago it returned to be part of my life. I would say during the pandemic.

Q: What steps did you take to become an F1 photographer?

A: I studied photography at the Jhon Kaverdash academy in Milan, then I opened a photographic studio where I mainly deal with portraits and newborn children. I arrived in Formula 1 through a photographer friend who follows this world.

Q: Is it difficult to be taken seriously as a photographer in a male-dominated society?

A: This is one of the hardest questions. I could give conflicting answers. I think it's actually a difficult world even for a man because being able to create some shots that attract attention and differentiate from others, is quite difficult. There is a lot of work behind it and perhaps not sufficiently valued. An infinity of beautiful photographs vanishes into thin air at each GP. When I started I was very intimidated by being in a mainly male world. But perhaps it was also an extra incentive to do better to be noticed, to have the merit of being there. I must say that already at the second GP something has changed. I think it depends a lot on the personal character, obviously, there are men who ask themselves "is the girlfriend of whom?" but not all, fortunately.

Q: You’ve taken a lot of great photos. What is your favourite photo you took?

A: Thanks. I think my favourite photo is her focused face as she enters the hospitality at the Red Bull Ring. It's reflected in the glass and I think a driver has to have a lot of sides nowadays because the social / TV version has a lot of weight. In fact, I have many that I love… I also really like the embrace in the last French GP between Hamilton and Russel. I really like all those moments that make you breathe the humanity and sportiness of the pilots… who are idols for the world but the reality is that they are very young in a world of lions. It takes a lot of character.

Q: What is your favourite circuit to photograph?

A: I can't say I have one... I have to try them all first.

Q: The Monaco GP was your first GP right? How special was it to watch the most historic circuit as the first Grand Prix?

A: Monaco is Monaco. Probably the hairpin is the most vivid memory I have of the first GPs on TV. I think it all has a little special side dish. It is a place where even the public attire changes. What I brought home from my first GP was the “normality” of the riders. I was very excited and I felt out of place almost always, but they were there, ten cm from me, and they were very “calm”… a beautiful memory. It was really special when they released my first photographs.

Q: Besides photography, what else do you love? What do you do when you are not in the paddock?

A: I love life in general. I really love travelling and discovering the world and the various cultures and habits. I love my 14-year-old dog and all animals in general. I love the sea and sunsets. Two years ago I had a bad car accident and I think we should be grateful every day for life, if only because we breathe, but also for any challenge or journey it offers us. For me, being in F1 is a challenge with myself but how it goes is of secondary importance. If only I can make some women dream of being there and maybe open these doors a little more to the female world it will be a wonderful goal.

Despite Daisy only recently joining the F1 circus she has already established herself as an accredited photographer with much to offer!


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