Never-before-seen photos capture magical bygone era of Formula 1

A set of analogue photographs shot at the 1979 United States Formula 1 Grand Prix at Long Beach, intimately documenting the sport’s biggest names, has surfaced for the first time in 40 years…

Gods Among Men 

Mark de Paola is a fine art photographic artist who’s spent the last four decades between Milan, New York and Los Angeles shooting fashion and beauty campaigns for the likes of Gucci and Neutrogena. But while his day job pays the bills, De Paola’s real passion is Formula 1, kindled by a formative trip to the United States Grand Prix West at Long Beach back in 1979. Never without his trusty analogue camera, he managed to intimately capture the greats of the sport including the late Niki Lauda, Jody Scheckter, Nelson Piquet, Gilles Villeneuve and Carlos Reutemann.

The 36 beautifully raw photos, which portray a golden era of Formula 1 before the corporate machine put an end to access-all-areas admission and when drivers were as charismatic as they were brave, were stored in De Paola’s archive, never to be seen again. Until now, that is – De Paola recently discovered the fourteen rolls of Tri-X film and proof sheets and had decided to publish them for the world to see, aptly naming the series Gods Among Men. He’s also making them available as limited-edition prints, available in both archival inkjet and silver gelatin. 

Photos: Mark da Paola