After pre-season testing Haas will stop working on the development of the VF21 to concentrate on the 2022 car.
Due to the current limitations on changes, last year’s cars will have to be essentially carried over to the upcoming season, making it extremely difficult for the American team to catch up with the rest of the grid.
"If we just see the short term, then in '22 it will be, 'Why didn't we do the '22 car? Because now we cannot catch up."
"It's very difficult to catch up with the aero restrictions and the budget cap. So you put as much in as you can on the front end," Steiner told Motorsport.com.
This leaves them no choice but to focus all the energies on next year.
"We need to see the big picture is the mid- to long-term, it's not the short-term."
It’s a tough choice indeed and the team principal is well aware of the fact that it could even mean dropping to the very last place.
"Yeah, there is that risk, but we need to live with that risk. It will be quite a challenging season going forward, we know about that."
Nonetheless he is confident that Haas is ready to face such a challenging time.
"We've braced ourselves for it. We'll do as much as we can for this year for the mid-term, compromise the short term for the gains on the mid- to long term. That's our plan at the moment."
The main goal for 2021 is to give their new drivers the chance to learn and improve, in what will be their debut season in F1.
"Damage control, trying to do the best," he said. "For me success would be to get two drivers prepared for the future by the end of the year."
"That will be success, that we learn, so in '22 we don't have any issues anymore, where we say these are rookie drivers and they still need to learn."
"They learn for a year, and I think it is a good opportunity, because the pressure will not be as high as when you have a good car. So I think our ambitions are realistic."
"We just want to do the best we can. Hopefully we can get some points now and then. But it will be tough – and we are braced for it."