Valtteri Bottas thinks Williams can engage Ferrari in a straight fight at the Chinese Grand Prix due to the cooler temperatures of Shanghai.
Williams was a distant third in the Malaysia pecking order as Ferrari claimed an unexpected victory with Sebastian Vettel. Much of Ferrari's performance came from its ability to manage its tyres in the searing Sepang heat but that will be less of a factor in China, something Bottas thinks will bring Williams back into the mix in the fight for a podium.
"Yeah, it was quite surprising, as it was for everyone else," Bottas said about Ferrari. "I think the way they could measure the tyre temperatures was better than any other team, we think that's the main reason. We also struggled a bit more than we thought with the tyre temps, especially because we are still lacking some traction out of slow-speed corners.
"In Malaysia if you overheat the rear tyres on traction that builds up and then you end up being slow in the race and wearing the tyres. That's one area we're really looking into because there will be hot races, even in Europe, like Budapest.
"I think for sure [Ferrari] made a really big step with the engine but for sure also with the car.I think in Malaysia, the way they could manage the tyre temps was the main thing really. I think they were pretty special, how they could do that ... the same pace for such long stints. We obviously have some work to do on that side but here should be more equal to them with these conditions."
Malaysia proved to be an anomaly for Williams in 2014 as it struggled with its rear tyres, something which happened again this year. Bottas is confident Malaysia will prove to be the same this season.
"I hope so. Last year that was the trend but we can't forget the weekend because there will be hot races in the future as well and we don't want to be struggling with the same problems, so we need to learn from it. But I do expect already because of the conditions and because of the track to be better here than Malaysia and we also have some aero updates and hopefully they will work as plan."