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Abiteboul bullish on Caterham progress

ESPN Staff
June 17, 2013 « Mercedes can do no more - Wolff | Hamilton pace will 'shock' - Button »
Cyril Abiteboul: "The simple truth is 2013 was always going to be a tough season" © Sutton Images
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Caterham team principal Cyril Abiteboul is confident the team will continue to close the gap to the midfield this season.

While Marussia has appeared to have made a significant step over the winter and is currently ahead of Caterham in the constructors' championship, Caterham's updated CT03 has proven more competitive in recent races. However, Abiteboul believes a poor race in Canada - with Charles Pic three laps down and Giedo van der Garde retiring - has masked the fact that there have been promising signs.

"It's fair to say our last race in Canada was disappointing, but looking at the season overall we're probably about where we thought we would be," Abiteboul told the official Formula One website. "But that does not mean that we are where we want to be! We started the season with a hybrid 2012/2013 car which we'd always planned to use for the first four races.

"We were able to bring forward some of the 2013 package to Bahrain and saw an immediate improvement there, and then again another step forward in Spain when both cars had additional 2013 parts. Unfortunately, as Giedo (van der Garde) was racing right in the midfield, Spain also saw our first DNF for 15 races and that continued to Monaco where we had the positive experience of Q2 for the first time in 2013, but then balanced that with a first lap nose change for Giedo and a DNF for Charles (Pic).

"Had neither of those happened, even if it is impossible to predict where we would have finished, I think we'd be looking at Canada as a glitch, not the continuation of a run of relatively poor form. The simple truth is 2013 was always going to be a tough season, but we are confident we can deliver what we have wanted since the start of the year, which is a clear positive trend towards reducing the gap to the midfield."