Alex Albon has assessed where Williams will end up in the 2023 Formula 1 pecking order, after the team ended pre-season testing as one of the most reliable on the grid.
Despite encouraging progress from the team towards the end of last season with points finishes at Belgium and Italian Grands Prix, Albon still places Williams as the 10th quickest team.
"I'm possibly a little bit more pessimistic and optimistic," he told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"So I do think, at least from from the initial looks at testing, we are the 10th quickest team.
"It's really about how we go through the year. Are we understanding the car better? We are obviously still without a technical director, but we need to see progress in the areas where we do feel limited driving wise.
"If we see the progress, then we are clearly heading the right direction. We have already done a step, but its needs to continue and we still need to see more of that."
Viewed by others:
Albon: McLaren our direct rivals
Speaking about who he thinks will be their main rivals in 2023, Albon believes they will be close to McLaren who had a disastrous start during pre-season testing.
"In terms of pure pace, I think there's a lot of teams out there that have made big steps, Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo, I'm sure the Alpine will be good.
"Then around us is our direct rivals, possibly Alpha Tauri and McLaren. I still think we're a little bit behind but let's see."
This year the weight limit of F1 cars increased to accommodate the heavier tyres, which have had their sidewalls reinforced by Pirelli. Along with different compounds, this minor change makes them "so different" compared to last year according to Albon.
"In my race runs we definitely got a bit of setup work there where we can help the car," he explained. "The tyres are so different, in my opinion, to last year. Just the way that they feel is slightly different how the race runs are managed."
Albon is positive the team can still capitalise at races where straight line speed is a main factor, including Spa-Francorchamps and Monza.
He continued: "If we can end the season better than we started, which we did last year, I'll be happy. And of course taking the moments we can like Monza or Spa, these kind of circuits will continue to be still quite good for us. We just want to be quicker and have the chance more often."
Ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, RacingNews365.com journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth analyse where each of the F1 teams stands after pre-season testing.