Gene Haas: Pluses and minuses to second year in F1

Gene Haas has tipped his team to move up the grid during their second season in F1. Jared C. Tilton/Stewart-Haas Racing via Getty Images

Gene Haas believes his team has the potential to move further up the grid this year as it enters its second season of competition in F1.

The Haas F1 team made its debut last year and immediately surprised the paddock by finishing in the points at three of the first four rounds. It then struggled to maintain that level of performance later in the season, but finished the championship in a solid eighth place -- ahead of the more experienced Renault, Sauber and Manor teams.

Asked what he expects from season two in F1, Haas said: "If we can do a little bit better because our business model in Formula One allows us to operate more efficiently, we might be able to move up a position or two."

Despite the experience and knowledge that comes with a season racing in F1, Haas is still expecting a challenging year as the team tries to make the most of the new 2017 regulations with chassis manufacturer Dallara and technical partner Ferrari.

"I think it has pluses and minuses. On the plus side, we're not trying to put the whole pit crew together. We don't have to worry about getting trucks and other infrastructure. We have all that in place. The negative side is that there's less time to do all these things again and there are a lot of rule changes, so you have to be prepared.

"On the other hand, we have stronger relationships with a lot of our suppliers, so that should make it easier. It's kind of give and take. It'll be just as challenging as it was last year, but I think with the knowledge we have, we should actually perform a little bit better this year."