Romain Grosjean believes that Renault and McLaren will leap ahead of the midfield fight in 2018, and will not contest in the closely fought battle of 2017. Up until the final round, Renault, Toro Rosso and Haas all battled for sixth in the constructors' standings, with Renault coming out on top.
With Renault's steady improvements since its return to the grid continuing and McLaren switching from Honda power to Renault power, many expect them to make gains towards the front. However, Grosjean is optimistic that Haas can fight Force India and Williams, who are both powered by Mercedes.
"Some teams are going to maybe have a less powerful power unit so one goes up one goes down," Grosjean said. "I think the best [approach] is to do our own work; we know where to improve, there's a few areas where we really need to focus on to get better.
"[We need to be] making sure the updates – when they're coming – are working and they have been well validated before," he continued. "[That would mean] we're not losing three months of time to bring something that actually doesn't bring what it's supposed to do, so that's an area, just an example.
"McLaren is going to be super strong next year and they have huge resources, probably the biggest factory in Formula 1. The Renault engine is a decent engine, they've had reliability issues but power-wise they're up there, Renault is a on a high, they've been developing pretty well and are in front of us already.
"The question is Williams and Force India; of course, McLaren I believe is going to be there with Red Bull, then it's going to be Renault. The question is Force India, Williams, ourselves and Toro Rosso with their new power unit."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing