It's hard for anyone not to look at the images of the GP2/11 - the car that will be used by Formula 1's main feeder series between 2011 and 2013 - without drawing comparisons. The fact that it emerged for its shakedown a couple of weeks ago painted entirely in white didn't help.
"Don't say it," warned one GP2 paddock insider. "You're thinking, 'where's the Burger King logo?'".
They were wrong, because what I was actually thinking was that it looked like the HRT Formula 1 car, only better executed.
The GP2/11 will be the third generation of car for the series and it heralds a lot of changes, some more obvious than others. That it has taken its visual cues from F1's current aero spec is no surprise.
The series organisers are smart enough to know that relevancy is critical for any category that aims to position itself immediately below Formula 1 in the pecking order, so the fact that the performance levels are relatively close is not enough - it has to look the part too.
The more streamlined body with the larger front wing and smaller, higher rear wing ticks those boxes. The next step is to keep it cost-effective, which has been addressed in part with a new gearbox from Hewland.
The series claims the removal of skirts will be one less accident damage-prone area for teams to worry about ,and therefore another cost-saver, although at first glance it seems that any money the teams save in that area will be spent replacing the new turning vanes in front of the sidepods instead.
But most importantly of all, it has to offer a platform for young talent to prove its worth, and that means that it has to be raceable. GP2 has traditionally been pretty good in this area, although there are no shortage of subscribers to the belief that the original GP2/05 used between 2005-2007 was a better weapon for overtaking than the current GP2/08 that will be decommissioned at the end of this year.
Given that the current F1 aero package has failed to deliver the expected improvements in overtaking since it was introduced in 2009, it's fair to wonder whether it will work any better in GP2. But this is where GP2's status as a single-make category works in its favour. In Formula 1, performance is king. Whatever delivers the best numbers in the windtunnel gets bolted onto the car the following weekend, and whether or not it is going to make it easier to run close to the car in front is irrelevant.
But with everyone in GP2 having identical aero packages, the series can afford to sacrifice overall performance in favour of raceability. Work to this effect has already been carried out at Dallara; next year we'll see whether it has paid off.
The other thing that's significant about this car is that it will make the Asia Series matter again, at least from a driver's point of view. The next Asia season will be the first to use the current generation of car, which creates the possibility of contesting four full race weekends - plus the additional test days - prior to embarking upon a 2011 main series campaign.
Any driver who does this will start the 2011 season with an obvious advantage, which in turn means that nobody with genuine aspirations of challenging for the title can afford not to do it.
This is where things could get tricky, because if finding a budget to do GP2 properly is a challenge, then adding the cost of an Asia campaign on top of it could veer close to prohibitive for many drivers - even if, as expected, teams do deals based on signing drivers for both championships.
The one thing GP2 can't afford to do is become a playground exclusively for the rich. The series has an extraordinary track record of producing F1 drivers at the moment, but it wouldn't take too many over-budgeted and under-talented series champions who go straight into GT racing to put that reputation on unsteady footing.