Guenther Steiner says he feels the Haas F1 team can build on this season and are well prepared for 2017, although he concedes there are a lot of unknowns, principally what the competition are doing.
The American outfit finished its debut season in a commendable eighth in the Constructors' Championship, but now faces that difficult second year having had to juggle competing in 2016 and building a car for 2017 when the regulations change with a far greater emphasis on aerodynamics and wider tyres.
“We started pretty early to develop the 2017 car because the second year is always difficult but you need to take action not to make mistakes,” Steiner explained. “The difficulty at the moment is telling you what I think about next year because I don't know as I don't know what the other ones are doing. That is the difficulty for next year's car, I think we are doing a pretty good job but that doesn't mean we are doing a good enough job because we have nothing to go with.
“It is not like you develop a car and you say you put on 5 or 10 per cent of aerodynamic performance. We have a complete new set of regulations. We put a lot of aerodynamic performance but that is down to the regulations and we don't know what the other ones are doing. Everyone is in the same boat as nobody knows how everyone else is doing. We will find out next year where we are.
“In my opinion the biggest development will be in aerodynamics because the rest are the same as this year, all the mechanical parts from Ferrari, so we have no big influence anyways. For sure our parts on the chassis will be better than last year, lighter but nothing else, and I am pretty confident we will be okay but how okay I have no idea.”
Steiner also confirmed that the team has made a number of changes in terms of infrastructure and not only in terms of bringing in Kevin Magnussen to partner Romain Grosjean.
“We have made changes and part of those are changes are with the drivers for next year. [But] we [also] have new engineers and have changed some people. You always try to do better but it is about how you can get the best of the best or the best you can get in the position we are in.
“We cannot get [Lewis] Hamilton or Adrian Newey, we will do the best with what we can get and makes changes instead of stagnating and saying it is okay. If you standstill you are going backwards.
“You need to do your best effort in this sport. I feel we are pretty well prepared for next year but I don't know how well prepared.”