Valtteri Bottas believes Williams has the second or third fastest car heading in to the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Williams impressed during pre-season testing but struggled during a wet qualifying in Australia before seeing Felipe Massa taken out at Turn 1. Bottas ran more competitively, recovering from an early puncture to finish in fifth place but he doesn't believe the car can realistically challenge for race victories.

When it was put to Bottas that he had the second or third fastest car, he replied: "Somewhere there, hopefully.

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"It's been a good start for us, hopefully we can maintain it because everyone is going to improve a lot, so I would definitely see no reason why we couldn't fight for top six positions."

However, Bottas said the pecking order in Melbourne could not be expected to carry over to Sepang this weekend.

"I think we have some kind of idea where every team is. Of course ... Melbourne is maybe not the best benchmark, a little bit different track than most of the others. We will see here, and of course, all the teams are going to improve so much race by race, especially when we get to Europe. Some kind of idea but it can change."