The Haas F1 Team will be heading to its first home Grand Prix event next weekend on something of a high, following an impressive qualifying performance at Suzuka that saw both cars reach the final pole shoot-out round of qualifying for the first time.
That was a striking turnaround achievement for a team that has spent much of the middle section of its inaugural season in Formula One fire-fighting a number of recurring technical issues, although concerns over the team's brakes linger.
"It’s encouraging,' agreed team manager Guenther Steiner. "We’ll see what we can do in Austin. Getting into Q3 again with two cars will be difficult we know, everyone knows how difficult that is at this time.
Romain Grosjean finished just outside the points in 11th but seemed much happer with the car in Suzuka than he had done in previous weeks and had significantly less reason to rage about the situation to his boss over the team radio.
"I don’t know because I got so used to it that I miss it now, all the abuse!," Steiner chuckled. "Everybody misses the abuse!
"I would say in general the car we are happier, it’s still not far from being perfect to be honest, I think we have at least better balance which he likes. I hope it stays the same in the next four races and we get a new car, then we start again with the abuse you know?"
Esteban Gutierrez' race was effectively curtailed by an early collision with Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz which left him with front wing damage, but overall Steiner felt that the team could head to its home race in Austin, Texas with a degree of positivity about the team's progress and what it was achieving in the sport.
"Sure, it’s our home race, I hope we get a lot of a following there, I think it’s a great thing. Especially for the team, bringing Formula One back to the States as a team after 30 years.
"If you think about 30 years and where you were 30 years ago, it’s a long time so I think it’s pretty cool because we don’t remember. Now we are here, everybody thinks this American team is just like, we are very quick. If you think 30 years there was no team and now there is - I don’t know how many people will notice this but for me it’s a nice thing."