Gene Haas says his team’s biggest area of weakness has been its self-inflicted mistakes in 2017 and feels without it Haas could be neck and neck with Williams for fifth in the Formula 1 world constructors’ championship.

The US team owner has already seen Haas surpass its entire points total from its maiden F1 campaign in 2016 when it scored 29 points, while its current tally stands at 35 with seven races remaining.

Despite the positive increase, Haas says up to 15 points have been dropped from strong positions due to errors, in reliability or strategy mistakes, which would see them up to sixth in the F1 teams’ standings and just five points off of Williams.

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“I’m not comfortable with the points lead we have because I think in any given race we could drop back a position or two in the Constructors’ series because we’re all so close,” Haas said. “If anything, I feel a little bit on needles because our biggest problem is execution, minimising mistakes, that seems to be our worst area.

“We’ve had some component failures we’ve executed poorly and I think we’ve left 15 or more points on the table, even at this point. That’s really where we need to perform is just running a race team with less mistakes, more consistency and that’s what’s going to earn us our points.”

Haas believes its driver line-up of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean has been performing to expectations by delivering when it counts in races but given the incredibly tight midfield battle he’s relying on further points finishes to ensure the US F1 team improves on its eight place finish from 2016.

“I think both of our drivers are very capable racers,” he said. “I think that they’re much much better racers than they are at practice and qualifying.

“I know Kevin has shown the ability to sometimes get two to three positions just at the start of the race so he’s an aggressive driver. I think Romain’s more reserved, he knows that you have to finish the race to get the points, so I think the combination of these two drivers bodes well for us in the race but we do need to finish the race.”