Romain Grosjean believes getting fully on top of its aerodynamic development programme and not losing time with unsuccessful upgrades is crucial for Haas in the 2018 Formula 1 season.
Haas has finished eighth in the constructors’ championship in its first two years in F1 and has yet to repeat the top-five result it took in only its second ever grand prix.
“There are a few areas where we need to focus on and get better,” said Grosjean.
“One is making sure that the updates when they are coming are working well and they have been validated before, so not losing three months of time to bring something that doesn’t bring what it was supposed to do.
“I am not going to go through everything because it is confidential but that is just an example.
“This is two years in a row where the trend is to go a bit down during the year. We started twice with a very, very good platform and we have been struggling with the tyres.
“We are not up there with tyre usage and understanding. Behind the scenes there are a lot of things we can coordinate better between the factory in Maranello, the one in Dallara and the one in England to make things run smoother and more efficient.”
Haas finished last year one place and 17 points ahead of McLaren, and 10 points and two places behind Renault – but both are expected to make steps forward in 2018.
Conversely Toro Rosso, which beat Haas to seventh place by six points last season, could face a tough year as it takes on the Honda engines jettisoned by McLaren in favour of Renaults.
Asked by Autosport if he expected things to be harder for Haas in 2018, Grosjean replied: “I don’t know. Some teams are going to have maybe a less powerful power unit, so one goes up and one goes down. We don’t want to go down in the order.
“McLaren is going to be super-strong. They have a huge resource, they have the biggest factory in F1, and the Renault engine is a decent engine. They have had reliability issues but power-wise they are up there.
“Renault is on a high too, and they have been developing pretty well so they should be up there as well.
“The question is Williams and Force India. Of course McLaren is going to be there with Red Bull and then it will be Renault, but the question is Williams, Force India, ourself and Toro Rosso with the new power unit.”