Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes Haas' sensational arrival on the grand prix scene is a good thing for Formula 1 – despite some criticising its approach.
Haas is currently fifth in the constructors' championship after taking strong points finishes in the first two races of the campaign courtesy of Romain Grosjean.
That success has come on the back of a different approach of buying as much as possible of its car from Ferrari – rather than being a full-blown constructor.
It is a decision that has not gone down well with all its rivals, but Horner thinks that F1 is better off having a strong team like Haas irrespective of its approach.
“To be honest, I don't think it is a bad thing,” Horner told Motorsport.com. “It demonstrates that you can be competitive without having to employ 600 people and spend 200 million Euros.
“When you look at the problem of some of the teams, while there will be all the arguments that it is not in the DNA of F1, it far better to have healthy racing, and giving drivers like Grosjean the chance, than being consigned to the back of the grid.”
Horner had to witness the Haas overtake his cars during Grosjean's charge to fifth place in Bahrain, but said he was not too surprised.
“They were quick,” he said. “Their strategy worked well for them.
"They were aggressive, soft tyred and three-stops. It is a solid car. Last year's Ferrari is still looking pretty good.”
Off our backs
Haas team principal Gunther Steiner is well aware that some have criticised his outfit's approach, but he is not worried that there may be a push on the political front to hamper his operation.
“In the first place, everyone has to look at themselves – why they are where they are before critiquing other people,” he said, when quizzed on the topic by Motorsport.com.
“I think the regulations are the same for everybody. We didn't do anything different to what anybody else can do, so I feel completely at peace with ourselves.
“What we did, everyone knew and I think a lot of people didn't expect it. And now they are like 'wow, it really happened.' Sometimes you have to get over things.”
He added: “I am not concerned about the criticism. People will always critique. I would rather that we were critiqued for doing good, than felt sorry that we are doing badly.”