Team principal Cyril Abiteboul insisted that Caterham deserved to finish tenth in the constructors' championship after a dramatic season finale in Brazil saw the Leafield-based team beat Marussia to the all important championship placing.

The team went into the Sao Paulo race knowing it needed to finish twelfth or better to beat Marussia, who had held tenth spot since Timo Glock's twelfth place finish in Singapore.

In difficult condtiions, both Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov rang strongly in the midfield and it was Petrov who would secure the result that Caterham needed with a late move in Marussia's Charles Pic ensuring he crossed the line eleventh.

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It means Caterham end the season tenth and secure the much-needed financial benefits that come with it.

"On behalf of the whole team I want to say how proud we are of the job we've done today," Abiteboul said. "It's been a tough year, one where we have not performed at the level we want to, but today we have very good reason to celebrate.

"On balance, we deserved to regain tenth place. Our results over the whole season were better than our nearest rivals and when it mattered we were able to seize the opportunity that came our way. That is the mark of a good team and it means we head into the winter break and next year in a positive frame of mind.

"Our shareholders, Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Meranun, and our team partners have given us the backing we need to progress up the field, and today we paid that support back in a small way by getting it right when it mattered. We can enjoy the feeling we have today, but tomorrow we will be back to work, ready to come back in 2013 and make the sort of progress a team in our position should."

Petrov himself, in what could well be his final race with the team, admitted he was delighted to have helped Caterham achieve its pre-race goal.

"What an incredible race," he said. "I'm so pleased for the whole team and I want to thank every single one of them for doing such a fantastic job in the conditions today. Seeing what regaining tenth place in the championship meant to everyone when I got back to the garage was really special and I think we deserve it after all the hard work we've put in throughout the whole year.

"On track it was one of the hardest races I've ever been in, but also one of the best. I had a great start, passed a lot of cars and avoided all the problems in turn four, and from then I was pushing as much as I could as the conditions kept changing. We made the right calls today on the stops and every time I came in the boys were perfect.

"The change to inters on lap 54 is I think what made the difference today. I had a good battle with Pic until the last few laps but then got him into turn three and just pulled away. From there it was all about keeping it on track and when I heard the safety car was coming out and I knew I had one lap left to go it was such a great feeling."