Williams will be a top-six factor in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix if it starts with the pace it had by race day in India, insists Pastor Maldonado.
After enduring its worst weekend of the season in Korea, Williams hinted at a recovery at times during the Indian GP weekend. Although it was compromised by Bruno Senna's poor qualifying and Maldonado getting a puncture in a clash with Kamui Kobayashi, the team did manage to salvage a point with Senna.
Maldonado said Williams made a breakthrough in understanding the latest configuration of its car at Buddh, and can reap the rewards of this at Yas Marina.
"I think in India the race was quite good, with competitive pace," he said. "It was just the incident I had with Kamui and I had a puncture. But the pace was there. The car was very consistent, even on a one-stop.
"I hope here we have the idea more clearly to start with and the base will be much better than the previous race. I really hope to be even more competitive than the last race. We understand the car more, all of the team, so it's looking much better for us at this race than the previous one."
The Venezuelan explained that getting to grips with some aero issues in India had unlocked more pace from the Williams.
"We had some problems with some aero components on the car and we're just trying to get the best combination of things," Maldonado said. "We've seen in the past some problems that were not so easy to solve.
"I think we've got the best package we've had in terms of aero and the car was working much better in India. If we start with the package more or less as we had it in the previous race, I think we're going to develop over the weekend."
He sees no reason why Williams cannot score in Abu Dhabi.
"We hope to be in the top 10, and especially in the race I think it's possible to be in the top six with the performance we showed in the last race and adapting what we have for this track," said Maldonado.