Romain Grosjean believes that no driver outside of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull will get a chance of winning a race until at least the 2021 season.
The gap between the top three and the rest of the field has grown in recent years, with the three aforementioned teams the only squads that have won a race since 2014.
Lotus remain the last team outside of the 'big three' that won a race, with Kimi Raikkonen taking victory at the opening round of the 2013 season, with Grosjean as his teammate. But the Frenchman doesn't think that anyone else will come close over the next two seasons.
"I think Formula 1 needs to get better at having more chances to win races,” said Grosjean. “I don’t think that’s going to be before 2021. If you look at the midfield race last year was quite exciting, a lot of changing of orders, and then there’s another race at the front. Ideally you would like as many teams as possible to be fighting for a win.”
Formula 1 is set to introduce revised engine and aerodynamic regulations for the 2021 season. The owner of Haas (Grosjean's current team), Gene Haas is also eager for F1 to become more competitive, which encourages Grosjean.
"I think people like Gene would like to see that as well in Formula 1. What’s the point of coming just to be always behind the same ones? But at the minute I think it’s going to be the same thing.
“Ferrari’s announcing that they’re going to increase their budget for the year. Red Bull is saying that they spent a lot of money on the front wing. Mercedes has been working really hard as well.
“Don’t get me wrong, we haven’t been sleeping, but I think as long as there’s going to be so different resources between teams there’s always going to be a difference of development.”
Haas battled Renault for fourth place in the constructors' championship throughout the 2018 campaign but had to concede defeat towards the end of the year. Grosjean believes that the fight between the midfield teams will be even tighter this year.
"I think the expectations are to try to do better than last year,” he said. “We set the bar quite high up last year with fifth. Obviously we want to keep an eye on fourth if it’s possible.
“The first indication is going to be how good the car is in Barcelona, and then how much development we can actually put on the car for the season. Again I’m not thinking we’re going to beat Red Bull, Ferrari or Mercedes this year.
“I think Renault could be strong, McLaren you never know, big team, could come back strong. We know that Racing Point, or Force India, or whatever it’s called are injecting a lot of money in the team.
"Toro Rosso also it’s probably going to very close with Red Bull in terms of technical partnership, they share the same engine. So yeah there’s a lot of people want to be best of the rest.”