Haas team principal Gunther Steiner admits he was "annoyed" the team left the first Formula 1 race of 2017 empty-handed, after recording its best-ever qualifying result.
Romain Grosjean put his Haas VF-17 sixth on the grid in Melbourne, with speed that surprised its midfield rivals, but retired with a water leak 13 laps into the race while running seventh.
New team-mate Kevin Magnussen started 17th, and his race was also undone early, when he collided with Sauber's Marcus Ericsson.
"We know the car is good, [the drivers] are both positive - especially Romain, he was very positive," Steiner said.
"He saw the speed, and I mean, everyone could see that he could keep the Toro Rossos easily away, The car has got speed.
"But it's always... how many opportunities like this do you get? With such a tight midfield, it's a lost opportunity.
"It's disappointing, but it could be worse. We could be slow."
While Steiner lamented the missed chance to bank points early in the team's second season, he reckoned the car's pace around Albert Park means Haas will get more chances at a good points haul in the near future.
"I think the car is where it showed it was," he said of Australia.
"I think the cat is out of the sack, we know where everyone is. You can mess up a weekend with set-up, but, in general, the car is there.
"We have got a good upgrade plan, so I feel positive.
"I'm just annoyed with the missed opportunity, you know? It was almost too easy to grab it, to finish seventh or sixth.
"It was there, we just had to get it to the end without a problem."
TEAM WANTS MORE CONSISTENCY
Of the 29 points Haas scored in its debut season last year, 22 came in the first four grands prix, with the American outfit dropping down the order as the season went on.
Steiner says its target in 2017 is to be consistently quick at very venue and to ensure better reliability.
"I think it's a lot easier to find reliability than speed," he said.
"It seems like we've got the speed. We need to find it everywhere, on each track, more consistent than last year. I think we can do that this year.
"But again, we also need to be reliable, because you can have the quickest car but if you break down, you don't get the points."