The Haas Formula 1 team heads into this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix “cautiously optimistic” of a performance turnaround with the introduction of a “significant” upgrade.

Haas has failed to finish inside the points since the season-opening Australian Grand Prix and has slipped to eighth place in the constructors’ championship.

The American squad has struggled to get Pirelli’s 2019 tyre compounds to work since Melbourne and its performance in race trim has taken a dramatic drop off as a result, leading to a vast array of updates to its VF-19 challenger in Spain.

“We’ve had four races and only one was almost completely executed - in Australia - and I say almost as we only had one car at the finish," team principal Guenther Steiner said.

“We know we can qualify well. Barcelona in pre-season testing was a very good track for us. We looked very competitive, but we need to show it in a race weekend. We want to show everyone how good we should be if we get the tyres to work.

“We’re bringing our first upgrades of the year. A lot of parts on the car will change, the front wing, the floor and a lot of the smaller parts, like mirrors. It’s a quite significant upgrade.”

Steiner hopes Haas will be able to recapture the sort of strong performance it showed at Barcelona throughout pre-season testing, given the high-speed nature of the circuit.

“The hope is that it all works as it did in pre-season testing,” he added.

“We’ve obviously lost a little bit of confidence after the last three race weekends, but we haven’t lost it completely. We’re just careful to make predictions. We are cautiously optimistic.”

Romain Grosjean, who is yet to score a point so far in 2019, reckons the competitive order could swing depending on which team gets their upgrades right.

“Everyone’s going to bring big updates, so it’s almost like everyone’s going to have a B-car, therefore the standings could be a bit different,” he explained.

“I think it’s important that our updates go in the right direction. It’s important, as we know what we can do there. We’ll see if we can repeat that and understand where our race pace has gone.”

Kevin Magnussen added: "The last few weekends have been pretty disappointing. We're looking forward to, hopefully, a strong result in Barcelona.

"We know the car is good, as a baseline, but we're struggling with tires. I trust, and have faith in the team, that we'll soon sort out these issues. I'm hopeful that in Barcelona we can have a strong weekend.

"I think it's a good chance to compare the car from testing to now. The temperatures are still going to be very different, also the track will have been used by other race series since we tested, so it'll inevitably be different. That said, I think it will be good to reassess where we stand."

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