Austin FP1 features new helmets, liveries and bits and pieces

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AUSTIN – The grid may be down by four cars from where it traditionally is, but that hasn’t stopped there being some new elements coming to Formula One in Austin this weekend.

Starting in the cockpit, we have several drivers featuring new American-themed helmet designs.

Both Red Bull drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, have new lids.

VETTEL

RICCIARDO

Additionally, so too do both Sauber drivers. Esteban Gutierrez’s is more subtle while Adrian Sutil’s is more pronounced.

GUTIERREZ

SUTIL

Lotus was busy. Romain Grosjean was premiering a new helmet immortalizing Matt LeBlanc, a previous visitor to the U.S. GP in Austin, and also the new nose on his E22. Both cars have new Endless branding on the airbox cover.

McLaren, which the last two years has run Verizon signage in place of Vodafone in the U.S., now has the yellowish orange of SAP adorned on the sidepods of the MP4-29 chassis this weekend.

Ferrari had what appeared to be a new sensor just in front of the cockpit for Kimi Raikkonen’s initial run. Jokes were created over social media as to the alternate reasoning.

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