Rubens Barrichello believes his Williams team can still catch rival Force India if it manages to solve some issues with the rear end of his car and also gets the F-duct working properly.
Williams has so far failed to show the kind of competitive pace that it was hoping for this season, and has managed just eight points in the first eight races of the year. But Barrichello reckons a fully effective F-duct, as well as solving some issues with the rear end, would mean a significant step for Williams, who he reckons can still catch Force India.
"I think so. Force India is not too far," Barrichello told reporters in Valencia. "I think Renault is a bit farther away. Obviously, Kubica is driving quite well and delivering quite a good package.
"If we have a blown rear wing that works, that's a big step already. And if you have a back end that gives you what you need, you might be talking about half a second – and half a second in F1 now is quite big."
He added: "We are lacking rear end grip when turning at low speed. Obviously we lack traction as well, as it comes along with the same type of speed. It's a mechanical and an aerodynamic thing. The team is working really hard to give us that thing. On top of that, we have some driveability issues with the engine and some lack of power in some different areas, so it's a combination of small stuff that gives us that nine-tenth deficit."
The Brazilian admitted he is also hopeful for the European Grand Prix, where Williams will introduce more updates to its car.
"I hope that our target is high enough for me to be happy," he said. "To be fairly honest, we have to aim for Q3 seeing where we are. There are eight cars doing very well this year and you have to include one Renault and at least one Force India, and then you have 10 cars.
"The devices that we took to Canada should work better here. We have a little step on the front wing that we had in the race there, so I'm quite hopeful."