Gene Haas is targeting a one-second improvement on the performances from the Haas F1 Team in 2018, feeling they were too far away from Scuderia Ferrari, the team they receive a number of non-listed parts from as well as their power units.
Haas has finished eighth in both of their previous seasons, but team owner Haas says they need to improve significantly if they want to be improve their ranking in their third campaign.
“It’s no secret we use a lot of Ferrari equipment, so we’re using them as our baseline,” said Haas on Motorsport.com. “We need to be within a half-second of the Ferraris in order for us to be competitive.
“We weren’t last year. I would say we were a second to a second-and-a-half slower than the Ferraris. Overall, we were maybe two seconds off the pole qualifiers, so we need to knock a second off that if we really want to be competitive.”
Haas believes the team has shown they can compete at the highest level since their arrival ahead of the 2016 season and has earned the respect of their rivals, while the odd result here and there could have seen them as high as sixth in last seasons Constructors’ Championship.
“Now we’re just one of the teams, to the point where if we’re in front of Lewis Hamilton or whoever, they don’t go, ‘Who are these people?'” said Haas. “They know who we are. I think it’s good. In two years, we’ve survived.
“We’ve shown we can compete at this level, and the teams around us were all within a few points of sixth, seventh and eighth there at the end of the season.
“That was an interesting place to be, and I’m sure the teams in front of us were very happy that they finished in front of us because now it’s like they have another competitor to deal with.”