Gene Haas says that time is still the biggest challenge that his new F1 team faces as it gets ready for its debut in 2016, but he still expects to "surprise people" from the start of next season.
Haas was originally granted an entry for 2015, but it was never a realistic possibility, and the team soon formally deferred until next year.
"Everything takes a lot of time," Haas told Motorsport.com. "As much as people think you can put together a team in a few months and go down to the local race hardware store and buy all your parts, it's really not possible.
"Everything has to be purchased, it has to be engineered, all that takes a surprising amount of time. Everything's taken a lot longer than we expected. But now that we've had enough time to do it we'll probably be in better shape than a lot of other start-up teams.
"I think that's what hurt a lot of other teams – this licence becomes available in July, and they had to be testing six months later. That's impossible, you can't do that unless you already had a team available that you could draw from.
"We're starting fresh, but we have a good technical relationship with Ferrari.
"We're learning things at what almost feels like a snail's pace, but it gives us time to put together what we want to do. When we go testing in Spain, we'll surprise people. We'll be ready."
However, despite the strong starting point provided by Maranello, he insists that his own team still has plenty of work to do on its 2016 contender.
"I don't think people really understand the complexities of these cars. I don't think it's just an engine issue, it's also a balance issue between drag and downforce.
"I think the Mercedes car is just much more efficient at putting that together. If the Ferrari engines had more horsepower I don't think they would be faster.
"The main point is that we're starting with a known quantity. We know that the suspension is not going to be fragile or break, we know that the transmissions will be durable.
"That's the biggest problem with most start-ups, just the reliability issues. If we can figure how to torque nuts and blots down we should be very, very reliable."