Caterham's competitive performance in Bahrain gives the team confidence it can challenge the middle of the pack, Russian driver Vitaly Petrov said Sunday.
Petrov finished 16th, equaling his season's result best in Malaysia, and spent much of the race jockeying for higher places.
After a retirement in Australia and 18th in China, Petrov, who finished just behind Toro Rosso drivers Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo, said the season is starting to shape out the way the team would like.
"We made some very good pitstops," Petrov was quoted saying on the team's website. "Quicker than in China and good enough to help me stay out ahead of Ricciardo who I had a good battle with for quite a lot of the race."
Petrov and Caterham teammate Heikki Kovalainen, who finished 17th, lost a lap to Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, who fought off Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen to win the race.
"It was only towards the end when we had to let the leaders pass that we started losing a bit of time," Petrov said. "But today's performance shows again how strong we can be on Sundays. We'll head to the next race in Spain feeling very positive about how we keep progressing."
The Spanish Grand Prix is May 13 north of Barcelona.