Haas factory has switched 'main focus' to 2018 says Guenther Steiner

The Haas Formula 1 team has already switched its main focus to next season, which means upgrades will be few and far between for the remainder of 2017.

The American outfit has already beaten its 2016 points tally with eight races of the current season remaining, and although they're locked in a tight battle for fifth in the standings – fifth to eighth is covered by just 11 points – development of the VF-17 has been slowed to focus on next year's car.

Team principal Guenther Steiner is confident their performance won't drop off as a result, but is cautious that those around them may still improve as the season goes on.

"We’re working toward next year while still focusing on this year to make as many points as possible," Said Steiner. "The main focus now back in the factory is next year, but at the racetrack we’re always trying to get the best out of this year’s car and try to get points.

"I don’t think our performance will drop off [as a result]. I think the performance of some of the other teams will go up because there is no reason why we should drop off.

"If the other teams get better, we stay the same and that’s how we fall behind. I think the bigger teams will perform well and while we’ll still put effort into this year, the amount of development work we’re doing for 2017 is getting smaller and smaller.

"Everybody is now trying to focus on 2018. I don’t know what other teams have in the pipeline that’s still to come for this year, but I think the focus for mostly everyone in the midfield is 2018."

Related: The latest Constructors' Championship standings