Williams chief technical officer Pat Symonds doesn't believe Lotus will be a threat to his team this season.
Lotus has said it is targeting Williams and Red Bull having made a step forward over the winter following a switch to the Mercedes power unit. However, when asked by Sky Sports if he sees the Enstone team becoming a threat to Williams as the season progresses, Symonds replied: “No.
"I think that they’ve got a good car and they’ve moved forward a lot and well done to them. 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 says he doesn't believe the same logic applies to Williams in its attempts to close the gap to Ferrari, pointing to last year's development rate as proof.
“It makes it more challenging. Yes, without a doubt, 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.”
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