It's clear we made progress - Abiteboul

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Even though Caterham didn't get more than a 17th position finish at the Spanish GP, progress is clear at Caterham. At least that is the view of team principal Cyril Abiteboul who is sure there's more to come.

“The Spanish Grand Prix was a very busy race for us, the busiest of the season so far", Abiteboul said. "We raced a hybrid 2012 / 2013 car for the first three races of the season and then introduced a number of new parts in Bahrain on Charles Pic’s car that helped him secure the best ever performance our team has seen in pace terms since we came into the sport.

“In Barcelona we built on that performance, introducing the first major 2013 package on both Charles’ and Giedo’s cars but, honestly, it wasn’t an easy weekend for us. We’re still a relatively young, small team and bringing such a large number of new parts always presents challenges with setup and integration of the package into the cars, particularly with such limited time to test your ideas on Friday and Saturday. There was strong support from the factory, including with CFD and wind tunnel analysis, and it was a great feeling to see the whole team pulling together to address one single issue.

“We also had a few problems that cost us time in each session which meant we went into Sunday without a really clear idea of the optimum setups for the cars. We had a KERS failure on Giedo’s car in FP1 and an oil leak on Charles’ car that Heikki was in, also in FP1, and the rain on Friday morning meant we weren’t able to run all the aero tests we needed to perform.

“However, despite those issues we saw good performances from Giedo in both qualifying and the race, until he had to retire his car, and another strong Sunday from Charles."

The Frenchman acknowledged that the rain spoiled the progress a bit at Spain, with the team unable to complete its entire aerodynamic schedule on Friday. To still get on top of the problems, a new aerodynamic test will be performed this week, feeding more data to the team to improve their Caterham CT03.

“Obviously it’s a bit frustrating that we still finished 17th but that position isn’t telling the whole story. Looking at the laptimes it’s clear we’ve made some progress, even with the problems we had.

“The work doesn’t stop. We’re as busy as ever and now looking ahead to Monaco next week. We run another aero test this week to help us understand more about how the new parts are working, aim to correct the issues we’ve identified at the rear of the car that’s affecting the balance and push on to a track where we’ve always performed well.”