Cyril Abiteboul believes the signs from pre-season testing are that Caterham has closed the gap to the midfield.

Despite Renault suffering many problems with its power unit, Caterham still managed to complete 626 laps; over 25% more than any other Renault-powered team. Abiteboul admitted it was an encouraging sign that Caterham had been reliable, but with Kamui Kobayashi clocking a 1:38.391 on the final day he also said there is more pace in the car that has yet to be seen.

"It has certainly been as tough a pre-season as we expected, but to finish as by far the most reliable Renault powered team, and with some early indications that our relative performance has improved compared to this time last year is positive," Abiteboul said. "I would have liked to see where Kamui would have finished with a performance run on softer compounds as I'm sure he would have found a considerable amount of time, probably into the 1.36s, although I do not think that outright pace will the primary success factor in the first races."

Following the conclusion of testing, Abiteboul praised Renault for its efforts in trying to fix its problems as quickly as possible.

"A lot of hard work has been put in by the whole team, on track at the tests, back at Leafield and in the wind tunnel in Cologne and I would also like to thank the staff at Renault Sport F1 - the early days of their new power unit have not been easy, but they have worked relentlessly to overcome a very large part of their initial difficulties."

With Caterham still being down on mileage compared to many teams, Abiteboul said the gap between the end of testing and the first race would be used to try and plan for every eventuality.

"We will now have a few more busy days to analyse the huge amount of information generated by our 3,312 kms of testing and see how we can make the best possible use of what we have available for the first races of the season, as well as to start defining our development strategy for the later stages of what is going to be a quite amazing F1 season."



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