Lagging behind F1’s leading cars by as much as “one to two seconds” per lap, Gene Haas says his team’s deficit is “really depressing.”
Competing in their second season in Formula 1, Haas managed 29 points in the first 11 races of the campaign with a best result of P6 which Romain Grosjean achieved at the Austrian Grand Prix.
But despite putting in Haas’ strongest showing, the Frenchman still finished the grand prix a full minute behind Mercedes race winner Valtteri Bottas.
It is not unusual for the Haas team-mates to be lapped by the frontrunners with team owner Haas saying the gap to top team is depressing.
“I think we have two good drivers right now, they’ve both scored points, the car’s very good,” he told Motorsport.com.
“But the real cloud that hangs over us is the fact we’re one to two seconds [a lap] off the fastest cars. And quite frankly we don’t understand we can be that far off with what we consider to be state-of-the-art equipment.
“Other than the top three teams, everybody’s in that boat. That to me is probably the biggest problem that I see right now, that the top three teams are light years ahead of everybody else.
“They are also the teams that develop their own engines, transmissions and chassis, so there’s an inherent advantage in doing that.
“How do we overcome that? Quite frankly there’s no answer to that, which is really depressing.”
He added: “That’s a dilemma that F1 is facing. You have the teams at the front and then this big mid-pack… we’re all very close together, matter of fact the mid-pack is all within a second.
“So from a competitive standpoint we’re all very equal, it’s just you have this group way out in front that we’re all struggling with.
“The reality of it is, that outside those three teams nobody has a chance to win. If you’re running sixth through 20th, you really don’t have a chance of winning.”