Marussia boss Graeme Lowdon expects his team to eliminate the gap to Formula 1's midfield next season.
Lowdon is certain that rules stability, the addition of KERS, and early indications from Marussia's 2013 design mean it can leapfrog habitual rival Caterham and challenge the teams ahead.
"The gap will definitely be gone, I'm absolutely convinced of it," Lowdon said. "Everyone's obviously going to improve over the winter, but the law of physics says the improvement is only going to be so much. The question is, are we predicting fairly major improvements, and yes we are. I'm looking forward to it.
"We just want to be in the mix and racing and I really honestly believe that that's where we'll be next year. We've got a lot to do over the winter but everything's on track. We're genuinely looking forward to Melbourne."
Marussia finished its third season in F1 in 11th position after being beaten by Caterham in the final race of the year in Brazil. The team was far from the midfield all season long, however, with 18th as its best qualifying result and two 12th-place finishes its best achievements in the races. Unlike Caterham, Marussia did not run KERS in 2012, and Lowdon reckons it will make a big difference when it uses the system next year.
"It's like a turn-key system. I'm no big fan of KERS personally, I think it was a missed opportunity marketing-wise and an expense the pitlane could've done without," Lowdon said. "We very nearly beat a team that has it, and we didn't have it. With KERS and with the aero projections that we've got, we can hopefully surprise some people next year.
"Certainly our immediate competitors have been running KERS all year, so they're going to have to develop a pretty good car to defend that gap, let alone improve. From what we can see, the gap [to the midfield] should be closed next year. And that's good for us and it's good for the sport."