Alex Albon hailed his seventh place in Monza as a "good step" towards seventh in the Formula 1 constructors' championship ahead of races where Williams "won't really stand a chance".
As expected, the low-drag Williams excelled on the fast straights in the Italian Grand Prix, with Albon frustrating McLaren's Lando Norris by holding him off for seventh until the finish thanks to his car's superior top speed.
It is the latest in a string of strong results for Williams, which started the second half of the season tied with Haas, but now nearly doubled its points tally in two races to romp 10 points clear in seventh.
With Alfa Romeo only managing one point in Monza thanks to Valtteri Bottas' 10th place, Williams now appears well positioned to hold both Alfa and the struggling Haas outfit until the end of the season.
Afterwards, Albon cautioned that the Williams FW45 still has a lack of downforce which means the team is "not really going to stand a chance" at some of the upcoming races.
"I think it's a good step," he said. "I worry about tracks like Brazil, this kind of races. But I hope we're in a better place now.
"We needed that, because I don't think the next few races, we're not really going to stand a chance until Vegas.
"Not to say that we're gonna take our foot off the pedal but... a good points finish here was what we needed."
A silver lining is that the recent progress Williams has made, particularly with its large aerodynamic upgrade introduced at the Canadian Grand Prix, has likely made some of the upcoming races less of a struggle than the Grove team had envisaged at the start of the year.
The eighth place Albon scored at the Dutch Grand Prix on the twisty Zandvoort circuit is a case in point, even if the team still feels the windy conditions flattered the car's actual pace.
When asked by Motorsport.com if he agrees the next few races, which include Singapore, Japan and Qatar, are perhaps not going to be as painful as feared, Albon said: "Exactly. For sure not. I think we still see our weaknesses, you know, we are low downforce.
"We are better than we were last year, but especially when the track gets hot and the degradation is high we really struggle.
"And this was a race where we struggled, on a track that should suit us. I think if the track was 20 degrees cooler we would have been really fast, maybe.
"But still some work to do. We go to Asia now, it gets hot, go to America, it's kind of hot as well [there]."