- The back-to-back meant that nobody was prepared for temperatures below 10C during Thursday's duties ahead of the United States Grand Prix. When everybody packed for these two races, the predictions showed it would be even 20C warmer - and it was, until Tuesday morning. No wonder why, if one wanted to meet F1 people, the best place to find them was the big mall just outside of Austin, where many were looking for warm clothes!

- The cold made Ferrari slightly optimistic, with Charles Leclerc remembering that the Scuderia did pretty well in the winter testing, albeit admitting “it was a long time ago”. With the expected temperature staying below 10C during the whole day this Friday, a lot of talk about graining is to be expected.

- But the most important subject of the day was the 2021 rules announcement, made during a one-hour long press conference with FIA and Liberty Media representatives. F1 managing director Ross Brawn was faced with questions about the points these new rules still didn’t tackle, such as car weight (which actually is increased much due to the new 18-inch tyres, that are only being adopted because of their looks) and dimensions, but preferred to highlight the wake and turbulence reduction that should allow for closer racing.

- Officials outlined plans for the updated sporting, technical and - introduced for the first time - new financial regulations that will come into play, with Brawn promising the latter "had teeth" and would come with severe penalties for those flouting the planned budget cap.

- But it was impossible to be in the press conference room and not to notice how bored Jean Todt, taking part via video conference, seemed to be, having first a coffee, then tea and biscuits while the tech-talk went on...

- The new rules couldn’t have been received more differently by the two biggest winners on the grid nowadays, though. Sebastian Vettel, who always said these rules would determine if he tries to renew or not his contract, that is due to expire at the end of 2020, basically only criticised the changes. Seb doesn’t like the current engine and would like to see the V12s or “an engine that is more relevant to the road cars” in the back of his Ferrari, is not a big fan of losing the expected 3 to 3.5s in lap time and also thinks the cars will be too heavy. Judging by his first reaction to the new rules, one can wonder if we are going to see him on the grid in 2021.

- On the other hand, even recognising that he would like to see lighter cars, Lewis Hamilton couldn’t sound more excited. He is taking the new rules as a “challenge” and said he wanted to be one of the “pioneers of this exciting new age in F1”. The virtual 2019 champion even went on to say he doesn’t feel he has reached his peak yet. “And that’s comforting”. Maybe not for his rivals...

- Haas drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen got a long-awaited first taste of driving a NASCAR, taking part in a show-run with Tony Stewart, the co-owner of the Stewart-Haas Racing NASCAR team that Gene Haas makes up the other half of.

- There will be a couple of special helmets in use this weekend. Carlos Sainz will celebrate his 100th grand prix with a special design, while Daniel Ricciardo will pay tribute to the Texas Longhorns - Austin's college football team - by running its logos on his revised white and orange helmet.

 

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