Williams driver George Russell believes Alfa Romeo is likely to be the team it can target when the 2020 Formula 1 season gets underway.
Williams has endured a troublesome couple of years in Formula 1 as it slumped to the foot of the Constructors’ Championship.
Last season it scored just a single point, failed to make it out of Q1, and was comfortably the slowest team at each grand prix.
But Williams showed improved performance during pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in February, indicating that it has made progress with its FW43.
Speaking before the early season rounds were postponed due to coronavirus, Russell said: “I think our closest competitors on paper at the moment are Alfa Romeo.
“We’re definitely closer than we were 12 months ago, but I’m not going to over-promise.
“I’d prefer to be more under the radar and come out with a half-decent result, but I have no expectations [for the season].”
Russell also revealed that he spent time during the winter focusing on race simulations, reckoning the FW43 is comparatively faster over longer than shorter runs.
“In testing we seemed more competitive during a race run than single lap, why that is I don’t know yet,” he said.
“The car feels great but it’s not about how it feels it’s about how quick it goes around the track.
“I’d prefer a shit-feeling car but one that is the quickest than the opposite!
“I believe I’ve made a really big step this year with my race runs, I’ve been working a lot throughout the end of last year, especially thinking in winter of getting more out of tyres across 60 laps.
“I tried it in testing and I was very pleased with the race run, and I need to see if I can continue that progress into the racing.”