Williams's co-owner Patrick Head says the British squad intend to fight for regular podium finishes during the 2008 season
The Grove-based squad, fourth in last year's championship, have shone during winter testing thanks to a competitive FW30 car.
And although the team have admitted fighting McLaren and Ferrari is not on the cards, Head expects Williams to be able to visit the podium regularly.
"We never design a new car to be fourth. Obviously we are always designing for the highest possible position, so the result depends upon our relative capability at the time," said Head.
"Although Nico (Rosberg) will be starting his third season in F1, Kazuki (Nakajima) will be starting his first, so the driver line-up will not be as experienced as might be expected for a team competing for a championship.
"However, we intend to be regular podium visitors in 2008. The reliability of current Formula One cars means that this can only be achieved with a car that is close to front running performance."
Head reckons it is difficult to judge who will be competitive when the season begins, but he still believes Ferrari and McLaren are likely to stay ahead.
"It is too early to say where we will be in the pecking order," he admitted. "It looks as if Ferrari and McLaren have made strong progress from 2007, BMW have a car that seems quick and Renault have made progress, I am sure some of which is coming from the cockpit with Alonso back at the helm.
"Red Bull are beginning to look stronger and Toro Rosso are making the best of a car that they are familiar with, they certainly cannot be dismissed. We have certainly made progress, but we will not see where we stand until after the season starts."
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