Haas is hoping to make the big leap and become 'best of the rest' in 2018. For the past two years, it was Force India who led the battle behind the top three teams. But this year, Haas driver Kevin Magnussen admits his car could be in that position.
"I still think it will be close between Renault and McLaren, probably Force India and Toro Rosso," he told Ekstra Bladet newspaper. "It's hard to say where Williams is, but hopefully them as well."
Haas' 2018 car has even caught the eye of the reigning world champion team, with Mercedes' Toto Wolff hailing Gene Haas' entrepreneurialism and "crazy" boss Gunther Steiner. "Toto and I have a good relationship," Steiner smiled. "We do things a bit differently here and so he thinks we are a bit crazy. But I think it's a compliment. And I'd rather be called crazy than stupid!" he added.
As for everyone claiming Haas will be 'best of the rest' in 2018, Steiner answered: "It's flattering, but we are careful realists. We hope we're there but we're not putting ourselves under pressure because of test results. Yes, we were good. Congratulations. But you don't get points or a trophy for that," Steiner added.
"I hope McLaren and Renault will be our competitors. It would be a strange position to be in." (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing