Caterham's technical director Mark Smith has told ESPNF1 that the team plans to stick with the current basic car for 2013 and not make any major shifts in the design ahead of a major overhaul of F1's technical regulations for 2014.

"We are making the 2013 car very much a development of the current car," Smith told the sports broadcaster. "There's not a fundamental shift in what we're doing."

Smith explained that this would enable them to keep the focus on improving the car over the remainder of 2012, rather than have to freeze the current specification in favour of next year's model.

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"We are going to develop this car a little bit further in to this season than we would have done," he said.

By doing this, Smith hopes to steal a march on Caterham's closest competitors on the grid - Toro Rosso, Marussia and HRT - and push drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov up into the midfield pack for the final races of the year.

Smith said that he was particularly concentrating on refining the car's exhaust system, and stressed that the optimal design and settings were very much a balance between the engine power output requirements of different circuits.

"We need to be mindful of the fact that it's not just a given for every circuit and we need to be very careful that we come up with the best solution at each circuit," he said. "Spa and Monza are entirely different so we are working on developments to reduce any of the losses that the system might have going forward."

Practice for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francochamps starts next Friday, August 31.