For the first time this season newly formed American team Haas failed to score points at a Grand Prix after Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez finished outside the top 10 at the Chinese Grand Prix.
In the opening two races of the season, Grosjean placed in an unexpected P6 at the Australian Grand Prix and followed up with an even better result in Bahrain, where he finished fifth.
However, Haas Racing Technical Director Gunther Steiner said that their disappointing showing at the Shanghai International Circuit on Sunday afternoon was a reality check for them.
Grosjean was involved in an incident early in the race with Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson, resulting in him changing his front wing and crossing the chequered flag in 19th place, while his teammate Gutierrez finished above him in 14th.
"It's a reality check but I think quite a good one," said Steiner told autosport.com. "We know where we are now.
"It's like we always said, we will be in that area, around 10th because without the problem on Romain's car he would have been up there with the McLarens.
"It's reality but it was good for us because we finished with two cars, and it's not to finish with two cars but to run two cars because before we had the luxury of having a whole team for one car.
"Now we need to get used to running two cars and that was quite challenging with a lot of tyre changes, we didn't make mistakes in the pit stops.
"On Sunday, we came down to earth but Formula 1 is a complicated world and there are a lot of things going on.
"Since Friday morning I was not happy with my car at all. We need to analyse why. We've tried a few things and obviously we never got it completely right.
"It will be interesting to understand what's the difference from Bahrain, why we're down."
Despite a disappointing Sunday in Shanghai, it was the first time this season that Haas managed to get both their cars over the finish line in the same race.