Williams is confident that it has the potential to make good progress with its car this season, after a morale-boosting fourth-placed finish in Valencia last weekend.
Rubens Barrichello delivered the best result of Williams' season at the European Grand Prix, thanks to a step forward in performance and a good strategy call behind the safety car. With the team set to introduce a major upgrade, which will include an exhaust blown diffuser, to its car for next weekend's British GP, Williams CEO Adam Parr is bullish about the extent his outfit can improve. However, he cautions optimism by stating that his team will only be able to show it has improved if it does a better job than rival outfits.
"Yes I am confident," Parr told AUTOSPORT when asked whether he was upbeat about Williams getting near the front of the grid. "The thing about F1 is that it is all relative. Am I confident that we can make a car that goes faster consistently? Absolutely – and we have always done that. But it depends how capable our competitors are – and they are, of course, enormously capable. Very few of them are in any sense, less well resourced or less capable.
"So, it is a bit naive to say for sure we can move up the grid, but I do feel we have the capability to do better. Right now, when I look at where we are and what we have, I think we can be doing better. And as things stand, that will put us up the grid. But when it comes to rolling out new things, other people have the potential to do that as well. It is an incredibly competitive world."
Although Williams has been surrounded by speculation in recent weeks that it could be on the lookout to bolster its technical staff to help it make progress, Parr insists his outfit believes it already has the talent it needs.
"I think we have got the ingredients," he explained. "We just had a very intense internal review of where we are, and why we are where we are, and what we think we need to do that is different.
"I think we have identified two or three different things that we need to focus on – and I can't go in to those because even understanding why you are weak it is a competitive advantage. But I do think we have the resources internally to do that."
Parr said that both the team and engine partner Cosworth were honest about where the performance deficit to the front was coming from – and aware of where improvements needed to be made.
"For sure we have got to improve the car from our side," he said. "Nobody at Williams thinks that the gap between us and the front is predominantly or even half the engine. For sure the larger part of the challenge is on the chassis side. But everything counts and we would expect any technical partner we work with to do their utmost to improve our technical performance, just as we have to do ours. I do think there is a mutual understanding of that, so there is no recrimination or pointing fingers because we both need to do better."
Parr played down talk that the squad was facing any financial difficulties with a number of sponsors, including Phillips and RBS, due to leave at the end of this season.
Asked if the team had the money needed to maintain its high ambitions, Parr said: "Yes. Absolutely. Next year's car is going to be designed in the next few months and we have tremendous resources, so I think with the right leadership and the right organization – in terms of people and the way they work together, we can make some serious progress. And I think we can see why we are where we are now. It is not an easy situation to be in and it is not an easy situation to solve, but I am optimistic that we can do that."