Eponymous Haas F1 Team owner Gene Haas says he didn't enter Formula 1 to run at the back of the field and has been left some perplexed by some of the ill-feeling from rivals who feel the team has gained an unfair advantage from its relationship with Ferrari.
Though all-new teams have often struggled in F1 initially, the American team set itself lofty targets for its first season having already opted to defer its entry by a year for better preparation and to forge a closer technical partnership with Ferrari.
It is that relationship that has irked some teams as blurring the lines between 'partner' and 'customer', an uneasy feeling that grew when Haas scored top six results in the opening two races.
However, Haas says he has been honest about the team's approach to car design, which – legally – includes a number of components manufactured elsewhere, hitting out at the 'whiners' who he feels are frustrated that it has simply interpreted the rules in a more effective way.
“This place is a soap opera! I think a lot of the teams at the back really don't understand what competition is. They're getting maybe a little too fat happy.
“We never came into this thing to run at the back. We want to compete, and that's what we're going to do. If people don't like that then that's their problem. I don't think the guys at the front are worried about us, it's just the guys at the back.
“We never read that memo that said you had to come in to Formula 1 and run in the back for five years, so we kind of ignore that. If anything, Formula 1 has provided numerous obstacles getting in here right from the beginning with Bernie saying 'I don't think these guys are going to make it', to putting up a $20million bond to be here.
“There's been a lot of obstacles to get to this point and now we're here, we're here. We're not going away, they better get used to it and if people don't like it that's their problem, not my problem.”