Mercedes are the latest to be impressed by Haas' showing at pre-season testing and think they could be firmly in the midfield mix.
Haas have been dubbed this year's 'dark horses' after Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean finished 1.1s and 1.2s respectively off the pace in the final two days of testing, while eyewitness reports on the VF18 suggest the car is one of the more planted challengers on the track.
And Mercedes boss Toto Wolff hopes there are more positive signs to come from the American outfit in their third Formula 1 season.
“In our statistical data they looked pretty quick, but then again if someone is 20kg lighter, it’s eight tenths difference,” Wolff said via the official Formula 1 website.
“I very much hope they are there. They deserve it. Gene [Haas] has taken some risks. He’s a true entrepreneur. Crazy Guenther is giving it all. He’s a good operator. He knows what he’s doing.”
But Wolff is also expecting Renault, McLaren and Williams to put up a good fight.
“There is also Renault which will make a step forward and McLaren," he added.
"Williams has been looking good on the long runs. So I think there are a lot of teams who are just behind the top three that could be a surprise.”