Caterham Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul has said that his team’s focus over the winter has been on improving the infrastructure of the Leafield-based squad rather than putting significant time in to this years car, which was released today as testing began in Jerez.
Abiteboul says that the CT03 is to be a work in progress throughout the year, with a B-spec machine planned for later on in the season. But the newly appointed team boss believes that they can still push themselves in to the midfield positions with a slightly updated version of last year’s car.
“We cannot satisfy ourselves anymore from being the best of the new teams,” said Abiteboul. “From where we are, we will be able to afford something totally new, a new concept, along the course of the year.”
Following their move to Oxfordshire last August, Caterham have been committed to long-term improvements, in preference to using all resources to make a quick start to 2013.
“It is about finding the right balance between what, given the level of resources, we can put on the car for the first test, what will be on track for race one and how we will be able to develop the car for 2013 keeping an eye on 2014,” added Abiteboul.
“Everything is about efficiency: where are we most efficient using our resources because we are operating on limited resources like everyone. The philosophy was to start from something we know and push in the areas where we knew we were a bit weak. There is a little bit of carry-over, there is no doubt about that, but having said that everything that is there is making a difference.”
Although, this could come at a price to Caterham as Marussia have taken a different approach and claim to have made a ‘massive’ step forward from last year. The teams were very closely matched towards the business end of last season and the input of new Technical Director Pat Symonds could see the results swing in their favour,at least at the start of the season.