Yes, it was that cold and windy Tuesday at Circuit of the Americas in Texas, for the lead-up to this weekend's United States Grand Prix. The Formula One pit lane and paddock area was not populated very much as team crew members bustled most hurriedly back to the warmer confines of their garages.

No F1 cars were visible, few pit boxes were installed along the Pit Lane fence, and there were only a few fork lifts moving things. Most of the forking was for the third and second story hospitality suites. On the ground level, the F1 paddock/hospitality area was pretty much established and the final finishing touches of beautification, bells and whistles is in progress.

Each year it seems the teams try to outdoor themselves in the appearance of the paddock entrances to their garages. Those teams that have won Championships have their appropriate decals proudly displayed. One of the Red Bull team members told me that even though the team had won the 2013 Championships, they weren't given their decals until the first round of the 2014 season in Melbourne Australia.

Because of its overwhelming use and branding of its iconic red, the Ferrari team stands out in the paddock and pit lane. The team has its brand on every single thing one can imagine. It even brought back its smoking area, the only team to have such a place behind its garage.

Still no word from Lotus on the driver to be nominated to run the USGP and/or the Brazilian GP finale race. The team members still maintain they don't know or when they will be told ... and Kimi Raikkonen's name remains above the garage.

Wednesday's pace will pick up as all the FIA F1 officials arrive and begin their official duties, including the track inspection.

by Lynne Huntting



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