Williams finished the 2022 season at the bottom of the constructors' championship and while Albon feels the team has made progress compared to last year, he still thinks its new FW45 will be the slowest car on the grid for the 2023 season opener.

"I'm possibly a little bit more pessimistic than optimistic, so I do think, at least from the initial looks at testing, we are the 10th quickest team," Albon said on Thursday.

Albon is banking on Williams' solid looking reliability to pick up points in what is shaping up as an extremely competitive midfield battle.

"You have to be realistic, we definitely have made a better car but in terms of pace everyone has, so it's all relative," he explained.

"We're going to really have to hope for a chance for points, it's not going to be an easy one, and there's definitely something has to happen for that to happen.

"When I look at testing, we've been very reliable so being the first race of the year, there is always a bit of reliability problems and hopefully, we can take advantage of that.

"But in terms of pure pace, there's a lot of teams out there that make big steps. [Compared to] our direct rivals, possibly AlphaTauri and McLaren, I still think we're a little bit behind.

Alex Albon at Bahrain GP 2023

Williams has gone through another winter of change, with team boss Jost Capito and his trusted technical director FX Demaison among they key people leaving the Grove team after a single season.

Former Mercedes strategy director James Vowles has come in to replace Capito and said he would take his time to identify a new technical director and implement a fresh technical structure.

Albon says he "wants to see progress made" on the technical side in order to address the FW45's key weaknesses, including its low-speed deficit.

"We are obviously still without a technical director, but we need to see progress in the areas where we do feel limited driving wise," he added.

"And if we see the progress, and we're clearly heading the right direction. We have already done a step, but we still need to see more of that."

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