Pat Symonds has dismissed the possibility of Lotus threatening Williams before the end of the season.
Lotus switched to the same Mercedes engine as Williams over the winter break following a miserable 2014 campaign with Renault power.
The Enstone based team has shown strong pace in the opening rounds of this season and has singled out Williams as a target to beat.
But speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, Williams chief technical officer Symonds says he does not consider Lotus a real threat to his team.
“No, I think that they’ve got a good car and they’ve moved forward a lot and well done to them,” he said.
“But like many teams, they really are quite tight on budget and therefore I think the development they’ll be able to do is somewhat limited.
“It’s early to say that they’re not a threat – they’re not a threat right at the moment. And my supposition is that it’ll be difficult for them to out-develop us. But one never knows.”
But Symonds does not believe the same logic applies to Williams, who are aiming to overhaul a Ferrari team with a greater budget.
“It makes it more challenging, yes, without a doubt,” he explained. “Ferrari’s a much bigger organisation than Williams with enormous funding.
“That increases our challenge. But it was exactly like that last year; we started the season behind Ferrari, we finished the season in front of Ferrari. So it’s not a given that we can’t keep up.”
This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of Williams F1 Team