Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has conceded he 'didn't expect it to get this bad' after the team's struggles in 2021.
Steiner's team replaced seasoned drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean with rookies Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin ahead of last year's campaign and stopped development on the VF-21 in January, two months before the season commenced.
This left the team well adrift of the rest of the field, only being able to compete with Williams and Alfa Romeo on a handful of occasions in extreme circumstances.
The new era of aerodynamic regulations that will be introduced this year represents an opportunity for Haas to recover from its score-less season, but reflecting on 2021, Steiner told GPFans: "I always said, at some stage, there will be a bad year because you cannot keep on going.
"At some stage, we will take a step backwards. There was always a point where the season will get worse [but] you don't expect it to get this bad, or you don't plan for it.
"What happened last year with the pandemic starting, with the car which wasn't good in '19, and then stopping development, I knew it was going to be bad.
"When you're facing it on a Sunday, it is bad because this is not competitive, you want to be here.
"You bide your time, you try to get always the best of it, you always do. Always try to do the best, never give up but still, it's tough on a Sunday night.
"On a Sunday night, it's tough to say, 'Why the hell I'm doing that?'."