Team boss Tony Fernandes says he is encouraged by the performance of the Caterham team through the opening four races of the F1 season, even if he admits there is still a lot of work to be done.
Although the team has still yet to score a point, Heikki Kovalainen was able to make it through to the second phase of qualifying in Bahrain; knocking out seven-time champion Michael Schumacher in the process.
While the team is currently behind Marussia in the standings thanks to Timo Glock's 14th place finish in Australia, Fernandes said he was pleased with the progress made so far this season even if luck hasn't always been on Caterham's side.
"We head back to Europe after what has been an encouraging first four races for the team,” he said. “We may not have quite bridged the gap to the midfield pack yet, but we are clearly much closer than we were this time last year, particularly on race day when we have seen clear evidence of the progress we have made.
"Having been with us for four races now, I am very pleased with the job Vitaly has been doing for the team. He is obviously a fighter and he is pushing his team-mate well, especially on Sundays, and that is good for the whole team.
“I think Heikki is due a run of better luck in the races as he has been pushing extremely hard in qualifying, particularly to get himself into Q2 in Bahrain, but he has not had the same luck when the lights go out on race day. Hopefully that will change in Barcelona and we will be able to see both cars fighting to the chequered flag on Sunday."
After his heroics at the Sakhir circuit, Kovalainen insisted that another strong qualifying performance would be required at Catalunya this weekend to aid the team on race day, given the difficulties in overtaking at the Spanish venue.
“Barcelona's a good circuit where the main challenge is to nail everything absolutely perfectly,” he said. “If you make a half a tenth of a mistake it can cost you a grid position and it's a race weekend where you have to focus on the details to give yourself the best chance of success.
“It's a track with a lot of high-speed corners, some where you have to be really on it to save time, and you have to be pretty committed going into the braking zone in T1 as that's where there is an overtaking chance. For the fans it's often a pretty quiet race because it's a tough circuit to overtake on, but that makes qualifying even more crucial and means you have to get the plan on Saturday absolutely right."