U.S.-owned Haas have a customer arrangement with the Italian
team to use the same specification power units as Ferrari, who
won last weekend's Australian Grand Prix season-opener with
"With the engine, there is not just one area that is better,
itís the whole package that has improved from last year,"
Steiner said in a team preview for next week's Chinese Grand
Prix in Shanghai.
"Itís now as competitive as a Mercedes engine, if not better.
Ferrari won in Australia, but everybody is developing and trying
to get better. It's always going to be a development race.
They've made a good step, and without that help from Ferrari, we
wouldnít be where we are."
Haas failed to get either of their cars to the finish in
Melbourne but French driver Romain Grosjean qualified an
impressive sixth - the team's best yet and ahead of
Mercedes-powered Williams and Force India.
Grosjean's car had a water leak that forced retirement while
Kevin Magnussen was in a collision with Sauber's Marcus Ericsson
at the start and then suffered suspension problems.
Steiner said Haas, who finished eighth overall last season, were
"cautiously optimistic" that they could fight towards the front
of the midfield pack and reliability was easier to find than
Mercedes have won the past three drivers' and constructors'
championships and 51 of the 60 races since the introduction of
the 1.6 litre V6 turbo hybrid power units in 2014.
Vettel is the first non-Mercedes driver to lead the championship
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; editing by Mark Heinrich)
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