Giedo van der Garde felt he delivered the maximum he could for Caterham in his first appearance in a grand prix weekend practice session at Shanghai on Friday.
The Dutchman has previous Formula 1 testing experience with Spyker/Force India, Super Aguri and Renault, as well as trying the 2012 Caterham in winter testing this year, but had not run in a GP weekend itself prior to China.
Van der Garde took 19th place in the first practice session, which saw damp conditions. He was 1.5 seconds down on team-mate Heikki Kovalainen's pace.
"That wasn't the easiest first FP1 session for me with the team but I'm pleased with the job I did and have had good feedback from the engineers, so I don't think I could have done any more in today's tricky conditions," said van der Garde.
Caterham's technical director Mark Smith said the team was satisfied with van der Garde's contribution.
"We started with Giedo in for Vitaly this morning and he did a good job in conditions that were obviously pretty tricky," said Smith.
Van der Garde felt that Caterham had made clear progress with the CT-01 since he first tried it in the winter.
"In general the car balance was good. There's a lot of traction and the braking stability has improved since the test I did in Spain so it's good to see the car's developing well," he said.
"Bearing in mind the updates we've brought here, it's clear the team is pushing hard to join the fight ahead and I'm glad I had the chance today to help here in China."