Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says the American outfit is pleased “to have gained the respect” of their Formula One peers, though recent races have been more challenging.
Haas enjoyed a dream start to life in F1 with a stunning a pair of top-six finishes across the first two grands prix. But while the US team managed to add more points to its tally in Russia, it has yet to recapture its early-season form.
Asked by the official Formula 1 website whether Haas was still exceeding expectations, Steiner emphatically replied: “Absolutely! We are still mingling with the Force Indias, the Williams and the Toro Rossos. And, of course, we want to stay there.
“I think we have gained the respect of everybody in the paddock - and that was another thing that we wanted to achieve. The worst thing would have been to become an embarrassment.”
Explaining Haas’ current dip in performance, Steiner points at the team’s little track time ahead of its maiden campaign.
“We probably suffer from the limited testing that we have. We are a new team and have the same amount of test days like all the other established teams. We have no database to fall back on.
“I think cooler temperatures don’t play to our advantage - like in China, and in Monaco where it was raining and the track was cold - and recently in Montreal. The temperature issue is no excuse - it is what it is.
“When people ask me what do you want if you could go back in time, the immediate answer: more testing. Probably four days more than the rest.”