Valtteri Bottas says Williams has a real chance to score some strong results early in the 2014 Formula 1 season, after continuing its excellent pre-season testing form in Bahrain.
The team only managed to set the eighth fastest time across four days of testing at the Sakhir circuit last week, but devoted one day entirely to pitstop practice with the FW36.
Bottas drove more laps in a single day than any other driver on day two (116) while Williams completed more running than any other team (323 laps) in Bahrain.
"If we have more of these kinds of days and if some other teams continue struggling then for sure we have an advantage, and I think a big thanks to this is the Mercedes," said Bottas.
"The work with them has been very good so far; the engine side is working well. We did the amount of laps of two races without any problems, which is very important."
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The Mercedes-powered runners have dominated the timesheets during the two days of testing held so far, and the Finn reckons his Grove team will have an advantage early on if non-Mercedes teams continue to struggle.
"At this point compared to last year is it's looking better for us, and that's definitely our goal to make a good step from last year, because it was not where we should be," added Bottas.
"But we're not getting too excited yet. We've no clue what the others have been doing. Looking at the lap times it's still very difficult to know, so let's wait a bit and see.
Does Williams hold the aces?
"I think Ferrari is also looking strong [with a] strong engine. [Their] reliability is also not too bad, and we'll see how much Renault can improve.
"I think we should not underestimate anyone, but we are hoping we will be in this top 10 group and my feeling, at least at the beginning of the season, is that it could be Mercedes-powered cars [at the front] but let's see.
"I think the field could actually be quite tight - especially the top 15."