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Formula 1: Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton take shots for charity

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Formula 1 drivers Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso among others, have taken shots for a U.K. charity. Photographic shots, that is. According to an announcement posted to the F1 website on Friday, December 20, the top two drivers of the 2013 season join all series team drivers and principals in a photography project to help raise money for a U.K.-based charity.

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For the Zoom project, photographs taken by all Formula 1 team principals and drivers, along with seven COOLPIX S9500 cameras autographed by some of the greats of the sport, will be auctioned off to help the U.K.'s Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity (GOSHCC). The Coys auction will take place on Friday, February 7, 2014 at London’s InterContinental London Park Lane hotel.

The photographs show the sport of Formula 1 from the inside, since they are all taken by insiders; they also reveal scenes important to F1 figures outside the racetrack. According to Formula 1, shots include driver Nico Rosberg at the wheel of a historic 1938 Mercedes W154; one of the crowd at Monza taken by Fernando Alonso of Ferrari; two donkeys photographed by Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner; and a view out one of the windows of Bernie Ecclestone's house in Switzerland.

More photos include those taken by Lewis Hamilton; Mark Webber during his last F1 season; seven-time champion, Michael Schumacher; and commentator, Martin Brundle.

In addition to the signed photographs that will be up for auction, seven COOLPIX S9500 cameras will be auctioned off. F1 greats who have signed cameras include Sebastian Vettel, Sir Jackie Stewart, John Surtees, Kimi Raikkonen, Damon Hill; Jacques Villeneuve; and Alain Prost.

Vision Sports Publishing will also release a book of photographs to be sold prior to the opening of the 2014 season with proceeds going to GOSHCC.

According to Formula 1, the Zoom project is in its second year; last year marked the :first auction of photographs taken by stars of any sport."

About the project, F1 President and CEO, Bernie Ecclestone remarked, "It has been done for a wonderful cause," adding that "the F1 Group has been supporting GOSHCC for many years and we are proud to be able to help with the tremendous work they do."

Zoom's co-founder, Christian Sylt, noted: "Thanks to the support of the teams and Bernie Ecclestone, we are able to showcase a varied collection of photographs which encapsulate life inside Formula One. Every image provides a unique, insider’s view of motor racing and offers a rare opportunity for the public to own a slice of history and help support the incredible work undertaken at Great Ormond Street Hospital."

Olivia Jary from Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity said: "We’re delighted to be working with Zoom again this year on this exciting project, which brings together our supporters in the F1 community. The money raised will make a real difference to patients and families from across the UK."

She added, "We’d like to thank Zoom and the F1 community for their continued support and generosity."

Jeremy Gilbert, group marketing manager at Nikon UK, said: "It’s a fantastic project that gives us a glimpse into the lives of F1 drivers from a unique perspective, both on and off the track, whilst helping to support the Great Ormond Street Hospital charity."

He added: "We hope that the auction of both the images and signed Nikon COOLPIX cameras will help to make a difference and raise funds for this worthy cause."

Formula 1 is currently in its off-season from racing; however, intense work continues among the teams as they prepare for several car and rules changes required of them for the 2014 world tour.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Connie Ann Kirk, Ph.D. has been credentialed by the FIA to write about Formula 1. She is working on a book about racers and racing with a historic racer from upstate New York.

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