Gene Haas reckons Haas' 2018 F1 car needs to get "within a half-second" of Ferrari in order to be competitive this season.
Last year Haas finished eighth in the championship with 47 points, matching their finish from their debut campaign.
And although P8 is a reasonable position given that the team's newcomer status, Haas wants better this season.
However, in order to achieve that, he reckons they need a car that is within a half a second of Ferrari's pace.
"It looks like everyone is going to be better," he said.
"We identified our weak spots and Guenther (Steiner, team principal) and I had a good heart-to-heart talk on that one in Mexico City about what direction we were going to take and how we were going to improve.
"It's no secret we use a lot of Ferrari equipment, so we're using them as our baseline.
"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."