Haas boss Guenther Steiner thinks each of the seven teams behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull are now equally capable of challenging for points every weekend.
On pure pace Haas' car has traditionally held the 'best of the rest' spot behind the top three teams, who are usually comfortably clear of the rest on Saturdays and Sundays. However, Haas has squandered several opportunities to score big points and currently sits in fifth behind Renault and McLaren.
Aside from 10th-placed Williams, every team has recorded at least one top-six finish in the opening ten races. Steiner says this makes it harder for a team like Haas to consistently score the most points available.
"After testing, we were cautiously optimistic that could be achieved, but it's still a difficult task as all the other teams in Formula One are very good teams - there is nobody who is uncompetitive," he said. "There is not really a midfield anymore. It's just the rest. There's the top-three and then the rest.
"Everybody from fourth to 10th can be competing for points this year, as we've all seen. Now, being fifth, it's nice to be there. After testing it was realistic to think we could be there, but we were very conscious that it would be hard work, and it is hard work, actually."
Steiner says converting the pace of this year's car into a fourth-placed finish still has to be the aim for the American outfit.
"I think with the potential of the car we have shown over the last three races, it is possible to aim for fourth. If we achieve it or not, that's a different question. I don't want to be arrogant and say we will finish fourth, because by no means is it a given. We are competing with three very strong teams for this position. We will try, we will give it our best and, hopefully, we end up fourth."