Giedo van der Garde believes Caterham can reign in Marussia despite losing out in the early battles between the two backmarker teams.
Having edged Marussia in the first three seasons of the battle, Caterham have fallen behind in the opening stint of this year's Championship.
Yet to beat Marussia's Jules Bianchi, van der Garde at least edged ahead of Max Chilton at the last race in Malaysia.
"The car was hard to drive, especially as the tyre drop off was much higher than my team-mate because the diffuser was gone," the Dutchman told Autosport.
"Like this we still managed to keep me in front of Chilton, so it was good experience. We know where we are at the moment, and we know in Barcelona an upgrade is coming.
"The next two races won't be easy but for after we can make a good step. Marussia has a little advantage but hopefully we can fight them."
However, it's not just Caterham who need to up their game with the 27-year-old rookie admitting he's still learning as well.
"It's how it is at the moment. It's not an easy car but I'm very happy. The team let me learn step by step, all the procedures, the way you drive, the tyres, so for me it has been good.
"It is different. Before in GP2 you wait at the front of the grid, look in the mirror, the cars are coming, first gear and away you go. Here it is like, select neutral and oh shit the lights go on.
"So the philosophy is a bit different but it's where we are at the moment. Race by race it'll get better."