Caterham Group CEO Riad Asmat says the team can find more pace from the CT01 despite another encouraging performance from Heikki Kovalainen on his final day of pre-season running in Spain on Saturday.
The Finn concluded his testing programme with the seventh quickest time on Saturday, setting a lap time more than second faster than he managed when going fifth quickest on Friday.
Although testing times can be deceptive, the performance thus far from the CT01 is a sign of the continued improvement being made by the team going into its third season, and Asmat said there was still more speed to come from the car.
“Another good day and more signs of the sort of progress we wanted to make at this test, even with the interruption the rain caused this afternoon,” Asmat said after Saturday's running was complete. “Heikki's lap this morning shows that we have taken a small step forward in pace compared to where we finished the 2011 season, but we still have a lot of work to do and we know we can find more pace from this year's package.
“For me, one of the most encouraging signs of how far we have come is the fact that we keep edging ever closer to the midfield and yet there is absolutely no complacency in the team. Everybody is working even harder than ever to help us bridge that gap and with a team spirit like that we are putting ourselves in a very good position.”
Kovalainen himself was again pleased with the performance of the car, with the team working hard on the final day of running today to finish its programme ahead of the season opener in Melbourne.
“A pretty good day,” the Finn said. “We were able to complete this morning's plan and we have found a good direction on setup that is giving me real confidence in the balance which is what we wanted before we head to Melbourne. The afternoon session was cut short by the rain but not before we had finished the tests we wanted to do on start procedures, pre-race programs and all the background checks you have to get done over the winter tests. I think we've now caught up with the time we lost last week so now we need to make sure Vitaly has a good day tomorrow and put us in the best possible shape for the first race in just over two weeks.”