Haas team principal Guenther Steiner warns against heightened expectations for 2021, despite drastically changing regulations.
Having finished fifth in 2018, Haas dropped back significantly in 2019 to ninth in the constructors' standings. The major regulation changes being introduced for 2021 have given hope to fans that the pack could shuffled, but Steiner told Motorsport.com that this is unlikely and that he has warned owner Gene Haas of this..
"It's very naive. It's not going to happen," said Steiner. "I think it's difficult to say what to convince him [Gene Haas]. He needs to convince himself. That's how I see it.
"He understands that best. I don't think I can do a lot to convince him, he needs to convince himself that this is what he wants to do, that this is what he wants to use his marketing money to invest in.
"He's got a good enough understanding that if I tell him he can win in 2021, he might say 'he doesn't know what he's doing'. I would have to agree with him. So, I don't know.
"But, as I said, there is still so much open issues here that at the moment I don't know if he should make a decision now."
Steiner continued by suggesting that the incoming $175million budget cap is not low enough and that this should simply be used as a starting point with further reductions in budget introduced over the following years.
"I think there needs to be a second step in the budget cap because otherwise it just won't happen, because the financials, the payouts I don't think are getting this good that in the future that the smaller teams can reach the levels of the budget cap, the top level," Steiner continued.
"I don't think any of the smaller teams are prepared to spend that amount of money because there is no return on investment at some stage.
"So, for sure it should close the gap in maybe already in '22, but in '23, but a good step would be to make a second go at the numbers and I think nobody would disagree with that."