Heikki Kovalainen believes that Caterham's decision to use KERS in 2012 could make the difference in the team's quest to score its first points.
The Finn, who completed two days' testing at Jerez this week before handing the car over to reserve driver Giedo van der Garde on Thursday, reported few problems with the Red Bull-developed unit, adding that it could boost performance by around 0.4sec per lap on average over the season.
"Last year we were not in a position to fight for points, but whenever we were in a position to fight with one of the Renaults or Williams, whenever I got close to them, I just couldn't attack them into the overtaking area because I had no boost," said Kovalainen. "It will definitely make a difference if we are in the same situation, fighting with the cars ahead of us, then I will definitely be able to overtake.
"Whether we score points or not, I can't tell you yet. That has to be the target, but the most important thing is to join the group and be battling with the other middle to back teams, if you like, being clearly in that group and not being a step behind."
Kovalainen added that he quickly re-acclimatized to using the system after completing a mammoth 139 laps on the second day, having been forced to finish early on day one due to a starter issue.
"It ran really well today," he said. "I was expecting some troubles at the beginning [with it]. I had some experience from the past with McLaren and I remember from the early days there that it was not easy to get it running, but Red Bull has provided a really good system and it ran faultlessly all day. I was quickly back in the habit of using it and we were able to monitor different temperatures and see how the batteries are living their life in the car and all fine, so a pretty good day today."
"It will be very valuable," added the 30-year-old. "It's probably three or four tenths on average at every circuit, some maybe even a bit more, some a bit less. But where it really counts is in the racing situations – at the starts, defending, overtaking – that's where it will be really crucial and I can see it's a good boost and a good tool to have."