Force India’s Chief Operating Officer Otmar Szafnauer has placed doubt on how Haas has produced one of the leading midfield Formula 1 cars in 2018 by emphasising the key similarities its shares with power unit suppliers Ferrari.

Haas impressed during pre-season testing with its Vf-18's pace which it duly carried into the 2018 F1 opening race as Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean qualified in sixth and seventh respectively before fighting inside the top five during the race before its nightmare pit stop blunders forced both cars out.

Despite the US team’s double DNF, Szafnauer says he’s certain Haas would have secured strong results in Melbourne and outperformed the likes of Red Bull, benefiting from the rare overtaking opportunities Albert Park provides, even though the team has only been in the sport three years.

Both Force India and McLaren have questioned the close ties between Ferrari and Haas, with the sharing of technical data and information between teams banned in F1, and has urged the FIA to investigate the issue.

“It is magic and has never been done before in F1. The smallest amount of resources and you magic up a car like that I don’t know how that happens,” Szafnauer said. “Aerodynamic parts are supposed to be your own.

“No wind tunnel, no development team, I don’t know how that happens.

“I don’t know how it can be right for a team who has been in the sport for a couple of years with no resources to produce a car like this. Does it happen by magic? If it does I want the wand.

“All the aerodynamic surfaces have to be your own, I don’t know how you can tell if it is or is not your own unless you start investigating. You can’t by scrutineering as that only tells you it all fits within the boxes of the regulations, but whose idea it was scrutineering doesn’t tell you.”

Szfnauer insists Force India will focus on improving its own F1 car, the VJM11, instead of calling foul on others but worries it could mark the start of a worrying trend.

“It shouldn’t be seen as sour grapes because we have to work hard on getting our car better and then we will beat them that way,” he said. “We are not where we should be so our number one focus is on what we need to do to get better. From a big picture perspective, you’ve got to ask how is that happening.

“Red Bull have over 800 people, a wonderful wind tunnel, a great aerodynamicists, one of the best technical directors who is a top aerodynamicist. Haas has a quarter of the people, no big aerodynamicists, no wind tunnel, no Adrian Newey but are faster. How does that happen?”

Grosjean has responded to the Haas ‘Ferrari B team’ accusations by saying it discredits the work put in by the US team.

“We are building our own car,” Grosjean said. “It’s not nice for the people that work hard and produce the Haas F1 VF-18. It’s the same thing every time we are fast and it was the same thing last year. We were Ferrari B.”