Romain Grosjean says Haas' solid 2017 pre-season shows the huge steps it has made as a team since joining the grid one year ago.
Haas enjoyed an impressive winter, accumulating 715 laps -- a massive improvement on its 474 during the same eight-day period ahead of its debut campaign. Though Grosjean and the team are still struggling to master its long-standing brake problems, it ran for the whole two weeks without needing to change its Ferrari power unit having not encountered any major problems.
Grosjean thinks the American team has made big steps forward in the last 12 months.
Asked if he felt the team was ready for the Australian Grand Prix, Grosjean replied: "No, some of the big teams may be ready but we are a small team and there are going to be some unknowns going to Australia, but that is part of the charm of F1. You know that if you finish a race you normally are not in a bad position, so it is about the game.
"But yes clearly there are lot more things we'd like to test on track and more things we'd love to test, but generally from testing from last year we have come a long way."
Aside from his discomfort with the team's Brembo brakes, Grosjean thinks Haas has found a good baseline for the new season.
"The car does not feel too bad. There is a lot more potential than we are using right now, so hopefully with a few updates coming for Australia we can unlock the potential of the car and gain some big lap time.
Ferrari enjoyed a stellar winter, one which has led to suggestions the Italian team should be considered the favourite for the upcoming season. Haas enjoys a close partnership with Ferrari and Grosjean reckons this is one area which has shown great improvement.
"I am not complaining that I have got a better engine on my back! It is pretty good. It is a good step from last year. The driveability is very nice and the partnership with Ferrari for us is key, so having a good engine, gearbox, suspension and so on is a big help and it has a big impact on our performance."