Gene Haas feels that his team is racing is "Formula 1.5" because the advantage of the top three outfits makes them seem like they are in another category.
"I feel we are not really racing F1, we are racing F1.5," he said in Austin ahead of the United States Grand Prix. "So if we were to finish fourth that would be a win in our series."
Haas says that when he follows races at home he is left shocked about how easy it is for the top three teams to come through the pack and pull clear.
"When I watch some of the races, and see how fast the top three teams just blow by on the race track, you are just somewhat aghast and like 'wow, how did we miss that?' he explained.
"I don't know how those cars are so much faster. But if I talked to Ayao [Komatsu, engineer], he says you have got a couple of tenths on your tyres, you have got a couple of tenths on your aero and your chassis is off a couple of tenths. That is your second or two.
"I know that we put a huge effort into trying to address all those parameters, but I don't see how we are ever going to make up 1.5-2 seconds off these guys. They are just so much faster."
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The one hope that many midfield teams have about the gap to the front being closed in the future is when a budget cap comes in for 2021, which should lessen the money available for the top outfits.
Haas hopes that such predictions are correct, but he does not think the difference will be enough to totally close the gulf between the top three outfits and the rest.
"Will budget cap help? Probably. If it reduces the size of their R&D department, I guess for every person we have, they have five people," he said.
"Personally I think that those five people would make it more confusing, but it does seem to work. And if there is anything that can reduce that gap, the technology they have and what we don't have, that would probably be very helpful.
"How you go about doing that without the bigger teams somehow having workarounds I don't know, but there is something wrong. I don't think we can ever make up that gap."
Gene Haas, Owner and Founder, Haas F1
Photo by: Andrew Hone / LAT Images
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