NO COMPLAINTS: Gene Haas is happy with Romain Grosjean's attitude for the 2017 season. Image: AFP / Jared C Tilton
Cape Town - Haas Racing owner Gene Haas has said that he is happy the American team is in among the action in a closely-fought midfield in 2017.
Rumours suggested that Haas could be fighting backmarkers Sauber and McLaren this year, but Romain Grosjean qualified a 'best of the rest' sixth in Melbourne.
'Competition to rise'
Haas told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport: "Two seconds behind the top are five teams within half a second.
"It is a car without weaknesses and a very strong engine. Grosjean complained less about the car than usual in Melbourne. That's a good sign."
The 64-year-old, who also co-owns a Nascar team, is optimistic in F1, even in the wake of Bernie Ecclestone's departure and the arrival of Liberty Media. Ecclestone's successor, Chase Carey, said his goal is to make every Grand Prix like a family festival.
Subsequently, Haas added: "It does not have to be a Super Bowl. But I do think that a grand prix weekend should have more. It should be a festival for the whole family, a kind of Oktoberfest with racing.”
As for the Haas operation that works closely with Ferrari and Dallara, meanwhile, Haas says he is happy to keep the team small in the future: "We do not want to become too big, size means bureaucracy."
Reflecting on the team’s goals for 2017, Haas revealed: "We want to be at the front end of the midfield and score regularly.
"Realistically the first six places are filled by Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull. Behind them is the race for seventh to tenth places."