Kevin Magnussen has revealed he was given no promises by Haas team principal Guenther Steiner over the competitiveness of the new VF-22 before replacing Nikita Mazepin.
The Danish driver was drafted in on a multi-year deal ahead of the final pre-season test having left the American-owned team at the end of the 2020 campaign.
Magnussen has given up a blossoming career in sportscar racing to return, with contracts at Chip Ganassi in IMSA and a factory Peugeot World Endurance Championship drive terminated to allow him to rejoin the F1 paddock.
Haas halted the development of its 2021 challenger before the season had even begun in order to focus solely on the new era of F1 car but despite the focus, Steiner has not given any commitments regarding car performance.
“He didn’t promise anything," said Magnussen.
"He said that they have been working really hard on it and have given me some indications and then just walking around, speaking to everyone in the team, I feel that there is some sort of vibe going on.
“Let’s see. I don’t think that we are going for the championship this year but I think there is a good atmosphere. You can feel something good is coming but let’s see."
Insisting the team remains realistic ahead of the season, the 29-year-old added: "Our expectations are under control. We know better than to think that we’re going to go out there and smash it.
“But it’s good that there is a lot of smiles around the team and everyone is looking forward to it and they’re not scared of going on track with something that is going to be embarrassing because I feel like the team is in a good place.”