Okay. So here’s the thing. This is a good-looking car. In fact, it’s not entirely dissimilar to how I wanted the McLaren to look twelve months ago, albeit with a light grey rather than white. It’s smart, and it’s simple, and the colours work well together, and I’m sure it’ll look good on track. But it is so, so not the car we wanted or needed right now.
Is it unreasonable to expect a new team to come into the sport with something exciting and interesting? Maybe, but back in 2010 we had Lotus and Virgin with some pretty fantastic liveries (and yes, the Virgin was red/black/white, but that was at a time when there weren’t as many cars that looked like that) – statements of intent that instantly fostered goodwill for the new guys. The problem with this one is that you can instantly name at least three or four previous cars it reminds you of (the 2011 HRT, the 2006 Midland, the early 2010s Saubers…), so it doesn’t really give the team much of an immediate identity.
It doesn’t help, either, that it’s completely lacking in sponsors, with the exception of Richard Mille (who also feature in similarly small fashion on the McLaren, as it happens). It looks instantly backmarker-ish, and that nifty stars and stripes on the flank can only really go so far.
But judged entirely on its own merits, it is probably one of the nicer cars on the grid. It’s just so spectacularly uninteresting that it’s hard to want to approve of it too much.
And so we wait to see if Manor can perhaps come up with something vaguely inspiring instead. At the moment, though, I’m not holding out a huge amount of hope.