Haas are making genuine progress despite their Japanese grand prix letdown, according to the Formula One team’s boss Gunther Steiner.
Drivers Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez couldn’t manage a place in the points at Suzuka after Grosjean managed an 11th-place finish – the team’s seventh in that position this season.
Despite not having much to show from the weekend, both of Haas’ drivers appeared in Q3 for the first time this campaign and Steiner was pleased with the overall performance in Japan.
“The encouraging thing is what we know what the car can do,” Steiner said.
“Seven times 11th, it’s not a great feeling, but the good thing is – we know we can do it. If you look at it, the five good teams were in front of us with two cars, nobody drops out, it [the outcome] is logical.
“We took the fight to the Williams, we couldn’t pull it off because they had an advantage in picking their advantage with strategy.
“It’s bittersweet, but the encouraging thing is, we’re getting better. We’re not stagnating – already, staying the same for us would be a good point to be, but we’re getting better.”
Haas, who have finished in the points just four times this season, suffered a torrid time just the week before in Malaysia when Grosjean and Gutierrez both had to retire with faults.
“Our plate was full after Malaysia, to sort out the problems we had and also try to make the car quicker, to get a better set-up,” Steiner said.
“I think, everybody worked hard and we achieved a lot in a very short time. That shows, for me, how the team’s getting better – and after Malaysia, [where] everything went wrong which could go wrong, we had so many broken parts, the guys here were well-prepared, we were ready to go again.
“We are getting more efficient in how we do things and better prepared. And you cannot have this without time – to make experience takes time and the only thing you cannot buy is time. So I think we’ve made great progress. As long as we make progress, we’re happy.”