Haas F1 is taking a cautious approach when it comes to planning for its future in Formula 1, according to team boss Guenther Steiner.
“I can only talk for the next two years because we don’t have a contract beyond that!” Steiner told RACER magazine when asked what the team was hoping to achieve in the next few seasons.
Team owners, the FIA and owners Liberty Media are currently locked in discussions about how the sport will look in 2021 and beyond. The outcome will have a big impact on Haas, which is F1's newest and smallest team.
Haas was eighth in the constructors standings in its first two seasons in 2016 and 2017, and least year was up to fifth place ahead of the likes of McLaren, Force India ans Sauber.
Whether they can continue their march up the standings in the future will depend on the new rules that come out of the current negotiations.
“If there’s a budget cap, I think we’ve got a bigger chance to move forward than without it," Steiner said. "If we get more share of the prize money, the better it is.
“It’s one of the most important things this next contract," he suggested.
Haas made the most of current regulations regarding technology sharing with Ferrari and Dallara to streamline their operation to keep it financially sustainable with a small team of developers and engineers.
New rules could change that and provide more opportunities for Haas to exploit and cut the gap to the bigger, richer teams. In the meantime, Steiner says that he intends to stick to a 'steady as she goes' strategy.
“In the next two years we will stay pretty similar," he explained. "We need to learn and try to do things better.
"We try to take on more tasks for this coming year, but you never try to do too much because if you get greedy then you normally trip over."
But Steiner is equally aware that the transition to new rules will have to start much sooner than 2021.
"As you well know, Formula 1 for 2021 doesn’t start in mid-2020," he explained. "It starts mid-2019, if not before. If you would have information, for sure we would start before.”