Günther Steiner says the Haas Formula 1 team "weren't clever" in the early part of the 2018 season in dropping a number of points due to operational issues and crashes, but is confident the team can still fight for fourth in the constructors' championship.

Haas currently runs fifth in the teams' standings after entering the summer break with its second double-points finish of the season in Hungary, cutting the gap to fourth-placed Renault down to 16 points.

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Haas was the top-scoring midfield team through the summer stretch of European races, but Steiner felt it should have been the case right the way through the season so far, only for mistakes to cost the team some decent points opportunities.

"I would say we should have done that from the beginning. We know where we lost the points, that is quite obvious," Steiner said.

"We weren’t very clever about it. I just hope that we continue in the second half, in the 'winter swing'. The second half of the season I hope we can continue where we left off before the summer break.

"It feels good to end it like this. We can relax a little bit at the moment. I think Spa and Monza, they should be OK. I hope we continue and can properly go for P4."

Haas saw an opportunity for a strong double-points finish in Australia pass by after both its cars suffered wheel-nut failures, causing both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean to retire. Grosjean has also been involved in a number of incidents this year, only scoring his first points of the year in Austria after sizeable crashes in Azerbaijan and Spain.

Steiner said the double-points finish for Haas in Hungary was a good confidence boost for the team heading into the summer break.

"It’s very important because we have only done it once before, it’s the second time," Steiner said.

"It’s also good confidence for the team so that we can actually do it for everybody. The guys get a bonus if there are two cars in the points so that’s good as well. They deserve it."

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