Haas F1 principal Guenther Steiner confirmed this week that his team's development focus has now switched to the 2018 car.
The Singapore Grand Prix saw the team finish in the points with Romain Grosjean. But with Kevin Magnussen forced to retire, Haas still lost a place in the constructors' championship to midfield rivals Renault.
Steiner admitted that the team saw little opportunity or point in spending more time developing the current VF17.
“We decided a long time ago that we would start focusing fulltime on the 2018 car in August," he said.
"If you were to develop something at this point for the current car and you put it into production, when it comes out it would be too late.
"If you develop something now, you won’t get it to the racetrack for this year."
But Steiner insisted that they still wanted to maximise their position in this season's championship. He pointed out that all the teams on the grid were in a similar position.
"We started partially on our 2018 car in March. You have to plan it well because it’s so complex. But everyone else is working on their 2018 car as well.
"We still want to achieve seventh [this season], or the best result we can. We haven’t given up," he stressed.
"Singapore was one of the worst tracks for us," he added. "We knew we’d be weak on those tracks, and we were. We got away with two points, so we got away better than we expected to.
“You just have to keep your head down and work. You always try to do the best job and keep everybody motivated.
"That’s how racing works. We were very honest about it. If nothing happened, it would be very difficult to get in the points.
"Hopefully, at the other tracks, we won’t be this far behind," he offered. "In the midfield, anything and everything can happen. It’s up and down all the time.
"Regardless, we’ll work hard to achieve seventh.”