Are You Midland In Disguise?

The 2010 Virgin was one of the best-looking cars on last year’s grid, so it was always going to be interesting seeing what sort of livery they’d roll out with this year in their new, Marussia-Virgin incarnation. The answer is that the 2011 car features an evolution, rather than a revolution, of last year’s design – and yet somehow, even though the changes are largely small and subtle, something about it doesn’t quite feel right…


I think the main problem with it is that the sleek matte black of last year’s car is no longer the dominant theme – the subtle shifts here and there (from the way the black section on the sides now starts further back along the sidepod and loops up at a sharper angle, to the increased amounts of white, to the fact that it just looks downright shinier) detract from it somewhat. The most notable change, of course, is the white section on the nose – where the blue in Marussia’s logo throws the whole thing off to a significant extent – along with the addition of grey to the white lines that separate the red and black. These additions, along with an increased number of smaller sponsor logos, make the whole thing somewhat reminiscent of the short-lived Midland team’s 2006 car – strangely, the last time a Russian company whose name begins with “M” bought into a small team with an established amount of character and spirit.

It’s certainly not a terrible car, by any means – and I quite like the driver’s uniforms, even though it’s a disappointment to see yet more drivers wearing white, particularly as there was nothing wrong with last year’s black-and-red suits – but after the gorgeous, simple effort last year that projected a clear, stark, unified team identity, this one already feels like it’s throwing too many different elements into the mix.

Above anything else, frankly, I think it looks more like a ChampCar racer than an F1 car…



    February 7, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    I’d have to agree. It may not have changed much in theory, but the small changes have made it look so low budget, so naff, so Midland-ish. I’m not a fan.


      February 7, 2011 at 6:38 pm

      It was already Midland and Indy-ish last season 😛

      It wasn’t bad last season, but it’s too empty to look nice this season.


    February 7, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    i have to say that looking like a Champ Car is no bad thing, some of the best ever liveries have been on Champ or Indy Cars lol. Last years livery was better, why Marussia didnt just put bigger logos in white letters over the car rather than force more white, the blue on the nose does not work at all. Maybe Force India will surpise tomorrow, but then again…


    February 7, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Will McLaren win the award for the most-identical-livery-from-last-year? 😀


      February 7, 2011 at 11:05 pm

      Probably. The only difference I can think of was the loss of the red F Duct tube… but then that was only because it was banned. Good thing the car itself is quite different


    February 8, 2011 at 8:44 am

    I’m disappointed to see the floral-art-applications gone.
    Last year I had a discussion with a friend, if those were a good idea to invite new sponsors as adding more logos would ruin the look. In that sense I can understand that they god rid of it. Still it was unique and still could have been a great way to round off the design.

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