Haas Formula 1 chief Guenther Steiner believes that the American team has fared better than expected in its first 10 grands prix, but remains hungry to move up the grid in 2016.
NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas entered his eponymous team into F1 at the beginning of the year, with Romain Grosjean scoring points in its debut race.
Fortunes have varied since then, with team principal Steiner calling last weekend’s British Grand Prix the toughest day of the Haas F1 adventure so far.
Nevertheless, he believes that few would have predicted Haas would be sitting eighth in the constructors’ championship on 28 points halfway through the season.
“We probably wouldn’t have thought that we would have 28 points so far in our first season, but we still do wish that we were a little higher up in the standings,” Steiner said.
“We are very close to the teams in front of us and hope that we can keep competing and moving up in the standings. I am very proud of us, though.
“We are doing well for our first season and the team has been working hard to be where we are.”
The battle for Haas is fierce given the tight margins separating the teams in F1’s midfield. Williams, Force India, McLaren, Toro Rosso and Haas all appear closely-knit, making minor gains all the more important – particularly in qualifying, an area in which Haas has struggled.
“I would say it is brutal in the midfield, which is where we are in the standings,” Steiner said.
“We just need to keep putting in a lot of work and making sure the cars are as prepared as possible, the tires are in the range they need to be, the drivers are hitting their marks perfectly, and that we go out on the racetrack at the right time.
“It ends up being a lot of ingredients that we have to get together, but I think getting to Q3 is achievable. We just need to work on all of the above points.”