Caterham team principal Cyril Abiteboul has revealed the outfit is 'close' to deciding on its second driver for F1 2013.
Caterham has already confirmed Charles Pic
, with an announcement it had signed a deal with the Frenchman and former Marussia F1 pilot coming at the end of last month. However the identity of his team-mate remains unknown and Abiteboul admitted that two options were being considered, one favouring the likes of Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov, who both drove for the team in 2012, and the other favouring someone like Giedo van der Garde, who was the reserve driver this season and who took in six Friday practice sessions, alongside his GP2 campaign.
“There are different options,” Abiteboul explained in an interview with the official F1 site. “One option is someone who he can learn from and who he can use as his benchmark for what we want from both our drivers.
“Another option, more radical, is to accept the fact that 2013 is a transition year that we use to continue building the team before a period of greater stability in 2014, when a lot of other things in the package will change. Both types of candidates are out there, and we are close to making a decision.”
Meanwhile, Abiteboul added that the reason the squad signed Pic was because they believe he has a lot of potential.
“Charles is an extremely exciting prospect,” he continued. “In his first year in F1 he was quick immediately, running some good times and long distances in his first days in the car in testing. From there he developed quickly and his record against Timo [Glock] over the year was impressive. On circuits he'd already raced at he was particularly strong and that tells us that in 2013 he'll be quicker still, with a year under his belt and knowledge of every track now banked forever.
“We believe that Charles will continue to develop with us and the infrastructure we can give him will help him unlock more pace and develop his feedback better so we can continue to turn him into one of the superstars of the future.
“He made his first visit to the team on Wednesday last week and he immediately really impressed everyone with his understanding not only of the car, but also of its engineering. That shows that he not only understands how to race, but how to get the best out of his car.”