Haas has emerged as a dark horse favourite to finish ‘best of the rest’ behind the top three teams in 2018. Until recently, it appeared that Renault was clearly the strongest behind Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari.

But former F1 driver Alex Wurz told Speed Week: “Haas makes a big impression on me. The car looks excellent — as good as last year’s Ferrari. And everyone knows how good that worked. And the handling is really impressive on any fuel load,” he added.

Haas boss Gunther Steiner admits the American team could lead the midfield in 2018. “It seems that the middle of the grid will be very close, but I hope we manage to lead them,” he said.

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