Valtteri Bottas believes he will be able to fight through the field in the Australian Grand Prix but hopes for a dry race to help his cause.

Williams has looked strong throughout pre-season testing and was quick over one lap in Bahrain, leading to expectations that it would challenge near the front in Melbourne. However, Bottas qualified tenth in the wet at Albert Park and a grid penalty for a gearbox change will see him start 15th.

Although unhappy at the gearbox penalty regulation, Bottas said he was still hopeful of recovering to score points.

"It is what it is, we just need to take it," Bottas said. "For us, it's still a long race and it is possible to come back in to the top ten and fight for some good points. We really need to nail the strategy and it's going to be really interesting to see what kind of strategies people are going to do with tyres and also the fuel."

Bottas put the lack of competitiveness in Q3 down to the conditions, saying that Williams struggles to extract the pace from its car when the track is wet.

"We had a feeling that we are better in the dry. Even in Q2 when the track was a bit better than Q3, there was some dry spots and we were a bit better than in full wet. So I think for us it looks like at the moment the more dry it is the better it is for us. We need to understand why, because in the future there will be slippery places and there will be more rain in some of the races. So we need to understand why we couldn't really make the wet and inter tyres work as well in the wet conditions."

And Bottas added that the problem should be rectified by torque mapping given enough time, which could be crucial with upcoming races in Malaysia and China often seeing some rain.

"We need to find a way to improve the rear end. We haven't been able to tune the torque maps for the wet; we had very little running in Jerez in the wet and that was early stages so we had other things to do other than just torque maps. So there are definitely things to improve but we really need to learn from qualifying because it was quite difficult for us and we were expecting to be in a bit of a better position."



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