Williams driver Pastor Maldonado believes the team can build on their 2012 form into 2013.
Maldonado was victorious in the Spanish Grand Prix last year but squandered other opportunities as Williams finished eighth in the championship.
The Venezuelan reckons his team can challenge towards the front of the grid.
“We are quite close to the top teams,” Maldonado told Sky Sports F1.
“It’s always difficult to predict every year – you never know what the others are doing – but if we compare what we did last year and what we are doing for the next season, we have great potential and we feel confident with the package.”
“We have been pushing so hard the last two years and we must concrete our potential. We won one race last year and I hope to continue like that. It’s going to be very difficult; the changes in the car are not so big for everybody, the rules are more or less the same, but we’ve been working so hard and I hope to be more competitive than last year. [I have] more experience as well; fingers crossed to have a great season,” he added.
Maldonado acknowledges that he will have to take a greater responsibility inside the team this year as he is joined by rookie team mate Valtteri Bottas.
“[I will have] more responsibility because it’s going to be the first year of Valtteri in the car racing, and that will be a bit difficult at the beginning, but Valtteri has a lot of experience with the team and he knows very well how the team works and the style,” he said of the 2011 GP3 champion.
“He’s a good guy so I hope as well to have a great season together as a team. Our mission is to put the car in the top.”
Williams will unveil their 2013 challenger, the FW35, in Barcelona next Tuesday.