Kevin Magnussen reckons Haas have the potential to leapfrog McLaren and Alpine in the F1 pecking order when they finally apply upgrades to their car.
While most F1 teams have consistently brought new parts to the track over the first half of the season, Haas are yet to make any major changes.
This is due to the team wanting to fully understand the VF-22 – and maximise its potential – before applying an update package later in the year.
Despite this lack of development, Haas recently logged their first double points finishes of the campaign in Britain and Austria – the latter marking their biggest haul so far.
Can Haas emerge as the midfield leaders?
Haas now sit seventh in the championship standings on 34 points, 17 adrift of Alfa Romeo, and a further 30 behind Alpine and McLaren.
Given Haas' current points-scoring form, and with an update on the horizon, Magnussen has set his sights on jumping up the order.
"I mean, no one knows what's possible, but certainly, in [Austria], we've been sort of – I don't know – the fourth- or fifth-fastest team," Magnussen told media, including RacingNews365.com, when asked what he expects from the planned upgrades.
"This weekend, Alpine, McLaren and ourselves have looked very strong in that midfield group. If we can stick with them, it's a massive jump for us.
"We are on [a] par with them now and we don't have an upgrade, so hopefully, when we get that upgrade, it can put us in front of that midfield."
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Schumacher playing a role after his points breakthrough
Magnussen added that teammate Mick Schumacher contributing to Haas' tally over the last two weekends has also provided a boost.
"We need both drivers to be performing, because it's tough when you're the only one scoring points, you know?" Magnussen continued.
"It's just better for the team if both are performing and he certainly has taken a big step [during] the last two races."
Asked if Schumacher appeared more confident after his maiden points finish, Magnussen said: "I don't know. I'm focused on myself and I think Mick has been pretty much the same."
Magnussen holds 11th in the standings on 22 points, 10 clear of Schumacher.
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