Haas Formula 1 team owner Gene Haas says it’s imperative the American outfit is back at the sharp end of the midfield following a “real education process” last year.

Off the back of a best-ever finish of fifth place in the constructors’ standings in 2018, Haas dramatically dropped down the pecking order last season.

Despite showing promise at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, it quickly became apparent as early as the next race in Bahrain that the VF-19 was flawed compared to its predecessor.

Having reverted back to its original colour scheme for the upcoming campaign, Haas is hopeful the lessons learned from the previous year can see it return to regular points scorers in 2020.

“I’m pleased to see the car return to the more familiar Haas Automation colors, it’s certainly a livery that people identify with,” said Haas.

“Frankly, I’m hoping the VF-20 will return us to the kind of form we ran in 2018 when we finished fifth in the constructors’ championship.

“2019 was a tough season to endure. We’ve been through a real education process, one that comes to all Formula 1 teams at some stage.

“I’m trusting we’ve learned from those lessons and have applied that knowledge into making the VF-20 a more competitive entry.

“It’s important to me that we’re back in the mix and consistently scoring points, we certainly have the capability and we’ve proved as an organization we can do it.”

Team principal Gunther Steiner accepts 2019 was a major setback for Haas, but with the regulations unchanged for this season believes this will be decisive for the team’s chances of a recovery.

“It’s always exciting to see the development of a new Formula 1 car and undoubtedly the VF-20 has to deliver where our previous car didn’t,” he said.

“With the regulations remaining stable into this season, it’s allowed us to improve our understanding of the car and to scrutinise ourselves more in order to find solutions and applications to channel into the design of the VF-20.

“Last year was definitely a set-back, one I would never have asked for, but you learn from such situations – we all have.

“Everybody at the team was forced to look at themselves and understand what they can do better.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the VF-20 make its track debut. As always in testing, you want many things, but lots of mileage, reliability and speed would be welcomed as we ready ourselves for the first race in Australia.”