Though it doesn't expect to be fighting for the top five in every race, Haas team principal Guenther Steiner nonetheless expects to his cars battling for points for the remainder of the year after Romain Grosjean's fifth place in Bahrain.
Grosjean drove a well-judged race in Bahrain to climb from ninth to fifth position in only Haas' second race, another remarkable performance that places the American team in a similar position in the constructors' standings.
It is a result that is now raising Haas' own expectations, but while Steiner feels a regular top five challenge is probably a bit much, he says Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez can expect to be challenging for the points at each race.
“We didn't expect fifth, I always said we could end up in the points if we do a good job,” he said. ”That is what we were working for. Fifth is pretty good. We're pleased.
“I think fifth is a bit too much to ask for [every time], but we want to try to get points every race now. That is the objective. If we reach it or not, I don't know. For sure, we know the car well enough the car what it can do. I think it is possible to make points.”
Despite Grosjean's success, Steiner says there was still mixed emotions after Esteban Gutierrez suffered problems early in the race whilst running well inside the top ten.
We're not so pleased with Esteban, it is the second race in a row he doesn't finish. We have to investigate what it is. We have a problem on the front left, we think it is something in the brakes
“If we have two cars, the chances are double. Sure we want to try and get points every time, but to try to get fifth every time is getting a little bit greedy and we don't want to be like that.
“Our aim should be to get two cars to the finish in China.”