Gunther Steiner says Haas has taken its 'reality check' in China as a race the team can learn from and build upon for the rest of the year and feels getting both cars to the chequered flag should be seen as a strong positive.
After Romain Grosjean's sixth on debut for Haas in Australia was bettered in Bahrain with fifth place, the new F1 squad bumped back down to earth with two finishes outside the points at the Chinese Grand Prix.
Haas' team principal Steiner says Grosjean's and his team-mate Esteban Gutierrez's full potential was prevented due to separate issues – Grosjean was stuck in the first corner melee while Gutierrez spent the whole race without DRS.
Despite the negatives Steiner feels for his squad to override those issues to get both cars to the chequered flag for the first time this season is a credit to the US squad so early in its rookie campaign.
“It's a reality check but I think quite a good one,” Steiner said. “We know where we are now, it's like we always said, we will be in that area, around 10th because without the problem on Romain's car he would have been up there with the McLaren's.
“It's reality you know but it was good for us because we finished with two cars and it's not to finish with two cars but to run two cars because before we had the luxury of having a whole team for one car, now we need to get used to running two cars and that was quite challenging with a lot of tyre changes, we didn't make mistakes in the pit stops.
“It was a reality check but it was a good one. We are where we think we are and what we always said so it's a reality check but it's a good one.”