Caterham boss Cyril Abiteboul says the team can no longer be satisfied with being the best of the newer Formula 1 squads in the 2013 season.
Caterham has finished in 10th position in its three years of existence since joining the grid for the start of the 2010 season, but this season failed to achieve its target of fighting in the midfield. Abiteboul admitted the goals set for the past season were perhaps too high, but is aware Caterham needs to take a step forward in 2013.
"Absolutely, we cannot be satisfied with that title anymore," Abiteboul told F1.com. "I would like to be able to say that we raced teams ahead of us and had some more of what we felt in Brazil. However, I think maybe we overstated what was achievable in 2012.
"For 2013 I'd like to look back and say we continued to develop as a team, seized whatever opportunities came our way and surprised a few people, without compromising the preparation for 2014. For small teams like us, 2014 is just as much a major risk – due to our size in particular – as it is an interesting opportunity, due to the quality of the technical relationship with Renault.
"Anyway, we have the capacity to do that and we are determined to fight harder than ever to succeed, so I hope 2013 is a year we remember for the right reasons."
Caterham beat Marussia to 10th place in the constructors' championship in the final race of the season in Brazil. Abiteboul insisted the benefits of having beaten its rival were significant.
"The end of the Brazil race meant two things to me: Firstly, it means we are on a better financial footing than if we had finished 11th. The benefits of that are obvious and it means we have not had to compromise our 2013 or future plans," he said. "The money is obviously important, but what finishing 10th also meant to me was that it showed our team what it felt like to be part of the show.
"It was very special to see what it meant to everyone when Vitaly [Petrov] brought his car home in 11th. This positive energy will be immensely useful for the work we have ahead of us over the winter."
Caterham is yet to reveal who will partner Charles Pic next year, and Abiteboul said the team is closing in on a decision.
"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," he said. "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."