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Caterham cannot be satisfied with 10th - Abiteboul
Caterham team principal Cyril Abiteboul says his team cannot be satisfied with just beating Marussia this year.
Over the last three seasons Caterham has finished tenth in the constructors' championship, ahead of the other new-for-2010 teams Marussia and HRT, but has yet to score a point. At the launch of the new CT03 in Jerez, Abiteboul said that needed to change this year.
"We can't satisfy ourselves anymore by being the best of the new teams," he said. "I think we need to be doing better than that and we need to demonstrate that we can be doing better than that."
The CT03 carries over several elements from last year's CT01 and at the launch the team said it planned to take full advantage of the change in regulations for 2014 by starting early on the next car. But Abiteboul made clear that 2013 is not just a stop-gap year for the team.
"It's a transition year, but I'm not saying we are writing off this year," he said. "You may hear a lot of people saying 'this is a transition year and I don't want any form of accountability for this year', but that is not what I am saying. Yes, it's a transition year but for us it's a lot about consolidating the platform and making sure we've got the right people in place, the right processes in place and a driver line-up building for the future. So, yes, that's a transition but that's also part of our growth and part of our development."
He added: "The philosophy was to start from something that we know and push in the areas where we are a bit weak. There is a little bit of carry over, there is no doubt about that, but having said that, everything is making a difference. We will be able to afford some totally new concepts along the course of the year."
Asked about the team's decision not to fit a vanity panel over the car's stepped nose, Abiteboul said he was not ruling it out but would also not be surprised if some teams with vanity panels on their cars revert to a stepped nose.
"It's extra weight," he said. "That's the reality and we can't afford the luxury right now by adding extra weight on to our car. We will see later in the season, clearly something that we would not want to be doing is being the only one with an ugly nose and if everybody was to follow that trend maybe we would do something. But honestly, from the first pictures I've seen I've not seen a lot of cars [with the vanity panel]. I think maybe Ferrari has a nice nose, but it will be interesting to see what they are actually running in the race when the weight will be making a difference. We'll see, it's a car that we will be developing over the course of the season, but we are not ruling out anything, including the nose."