Ayao Komatsu, the chief race engineer at the Haas F1 Team, admits the American outfit are slightly behind schedule in its development of its 2017 challenger.
The change in regulations means extra work to develop the second Haas car, with its first, the VF16, having secured twenty-nine points in 2016 in the hands of Romain Grosjean.
Komatsu expects the team to get to the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, but knows it will be a huge challenge to be competitive, and expects many more developments to come on next year’s car than what were developed for the VF16.
“The changing of regulation adds another dimension,” said Komatsu to Motorsport.com. “But even if we don’t change the regulation, we need to do what we are doing now to put all sorts of things in place for next year.
“What does a new regulation mean? The cars will change quite a lot, that means next year we need more upgrades. This year we haven’t had many upgrades – it has not been too bad because our baseline car was good and the regulation has been stable.
“As we got to know more about the car and as we could operate more professionally, our competitiveness improved. But imagine if we would do the same level of improvement throughout the year next year as what we did this year, we are going to be falling behind. Because big teams, they will put lots and lots of upgrades because the regulation is new.
“The race one [Melbourne] car, that won’t be so matured. So they will be having lots and lots of upgrades. We need to keep up on that next year. That will be a huge challenge.
“What took us five races to sort out this year, we need to do it in one race next year. I wouldn’t say everything on target. We are a bit behind. But we are progressing well. I wouldn’t say we are on target.”