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Fernandes still targets tenth for Caterham
Tony Fernandes says that the aim for Caterham this season is to finish in tenth place in the constructors' championship once again.
2012 is the team's third season in Formula One and having finished tenth in the previous two years it has earned more FIA prize money than the other teams that entered in 2010 - Marussia and HRT. As a result Caterham is best equipped to challenge the midfield runners, and stated that was the target at the start of the season. Fernandes, however, told the official Formula One website that he realises what a big challenge it is to close that gap and has set a "reasonable target" of matching its previous performances.
"The goal for mid-season is the same as it is for the whole year ahead," Fernandes said. "We know what is achievable, and breaking into the midfield is a huge challenge, so the reasonable target is tenth again. The 'stretch' target - what we want to push everyone to achieve - is to be fighting in the midfield pack and when you look back to the pace we showed in Australia that is not beyond the realms of possibility.
"Looking at the data comparisons between where we were last year and where we have started 2012, it is evident that we have improved. Only a couple of teams have found time and we are one of them. Now we need to keep working as hard as we can to improve our qualifying performance, make sure we are bulletproof reliability wise, and never give up."
Fernandes also praised the impact of Vitaly Petrov since he joined the team as a replacement for Jarno Trulli during pre-season.
"We wanted to bring in some new talent, and Vitaly has proven to be an incredibly good acquisition for the team. He is quick, he is talented and he has settled in immediately. A few people said to me that he was quite quiet, but the opposite has proven to be true. He is hungry, he is very eager to keep proving he has the talent to mix it at the top and he has a great sense of humour. He has brought new energy to his side of the garage and we are all delighted he is with us."
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