Valtteri Bottas says there is a noticeable difference in the atmosphere at Williams due to its strong start to 2014.

Williams has looked quick and reliable throughout pre-season testing - being marked out as the biggest rival to Mercedes for victory in Australia - while it has also announced a title sponsorship deal with Martini and been recruiting high-profile staff members. With so much progress having been made compared to last year, Bottas said he can see a marked improvement within the team.

"It has helped everyone in the team, including me," Bottas said. "Now we know we have a better car than last year we can fight for better positions. I think everyone is more sharp and I feel we are ready for it; we are ready to fight for much better positions."

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However, Bottas said Williams is not entertaining thoughts of fighting for victory or the podium.

"We don't really want to talk about it too much yet. Of course that's our goal, that's why we do this and that's why I do this, but let's just keep our feet on the ground, keep pushing and we'll see.

"Testing is testing, the race is different. Here is where you give the points and where you need to take the points ... For sure we are optimistic, we hope we are as close to the front as possible."

And Bottas was even keen to warn against reading too much in to the result of this weekend's race in Melbourne, saying it doesn't guarantee prolonged competitiveness.

"We need to be careful not to get over-excited and not to stop pushing because we know that it's a long season. Especially this year the key is going to be how much are you going to improve during the season? Even if you're competitive at the first race it doesn't mean that you are going to fight for the title. We know and I know that it's a long season and there's no need to get too excited yet."