Although Tony Fernandes concedes it was "cold" to part ways with Heikki Kovalainen, he says the Finn's failed Lotus drive hurt his reputation.
Acting as a test driver for Caterham last season, Kovalainen returned to the grid for the US GP and Brazil when Lotus called him up to replace Kimi Raikkonen.
His two-race return, though, was anything but a success.
Although he qualified eighth and 11th respectively, Kovalainen dropped places in both races, finishing P14.
And although he was hotly tipped to take a Caterham race-seat for 2014, his disappointing comeback ultimately resulted in the team opting instead to sign Kamui Kobayashi.
"Obviously we would lie if that we said it didn't play a part," Fernandes told Autosport.
"It was a whole mixture of a lot of things but in any decision there are pros and cons.
"I am egalitarian, I put it out to various team members - there were those pro Heikki and those pro Kamui and I had to make a choice."
The Caterham team principal added: "We have to move on, we have to be a little bit cold, if we want to be successful."