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Caterham 'close' to finalising line-up

ESPN Staff
December 17, 2012 « Sutil clear to race in 2013 | Grosjean says mistakes will help him improve »
Cyril Abiteboul says Caterham is "close to making a decision" © Sutton Images
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Caterham team principal Cyril Abiteboul has revealed the team is "close to making a decision" on its vacant 2013 seat.

During the final race weekend of 2012 at Interlagos Charles Pic was announced as one of the drivers for next season. That leaves at least one of Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov to leave the team, with Giedo van der Garde and Bruno Senna also linked to the second seat. Abiteboul said there were two different approaches the team could take to its line-up and that it should finalise the driver pairing soon.

"There are different options," Abiteboul told the official Formula One website. "One option is someone who he can learn from and who he can use as his benchmark for what we want from both our drivers.

"Another option, more radical, is to accept the fact that 2013 is a transition year that we use to continue building the team before a period of greater stability in 2014, when a lot of other things in the package will change. Both types of candidates are out there, and we are close to making a decision."

Speaking about the one confirmed driver, Abiteboul added that he had already been impressed by Pic's understanding of the engineering side of the car.

"Charles is an extremely exciting prospect. In his first year in F1 he was quick immediately, running some good times and long distances in his first days in the car in testing. From there he developed quickly and his record against Timo (Glock) over the year was impressive. On circuits he'd already raced at he was particularly strong and that tells us that in 2013 he'll be quicker still, with a year under his belt and knowledge of every track now banked forever.

"We believe that Charles will continue to develop with us and the infrastructure we can give him will help him unlock more pace and develop his feedback better so we can continue to turn him into one of the superstars of the future. He made his first visit to the team on Wednesday last week and he immediately really impressed everyone with his understanding not only of the car, but also of its engineering. That shows that he not only understands how to race, but how to get the best out of his car."