With just two rounds remaining in the 2018 season, teams have shifted their main focus onto the development of their 2019 cars. And Haas team principal Guenther Steiner is pleased with Haas' progress heading into the winter.
The American squad has enjoyed a successful 2018 season, as it battled with Renault for fourth in the championship. While it is still in contention for the best of the rest spot, it has the tough task of closing in a 30 point gap to Renault, who are now favourites to take fourth place.
Haas recently lost its appeal to the FIA over Romain Grosjean's disqualification from the Italian Grand Prix, further denting its hopes of topping Renault. The team is aiming to come back stronger in 2019, and Steiner is happy with the car development so far.
“[For 2019] the development is coming along nicely," he said. "As I always say, as much as I can be happy with what we are doing and what our team is doing to develop, I have no idea what the other teams are doing and how far down the line they are, or how much aero development they’ve done and the downforce they’ve achieved. The only way we will see that is in Spain next year when we go testing in February.”
Haas has not scored points in the last two rounds, with Kevin Magnussen also receiving a disqualification from the US Grand Prix after a breach in the rules regarding fuel flow. Renault has had at least one car inside the top ten at the last three races.
“It’s very tense in the midfield, and I think it’s a very interesting battle," Steiner added. "I would always like to be on top of the battle, but it changes all the time, and you’re really focused on that one during every practice, qualifying and race to see how close you are to your nearest competitor.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing