Since F1′s small new teams arrived in 2010, Caterham has been consistently the best, finishing the lucrative tenth spot in the championship at every attempt.
Former Renault technical chief Symonds, however – who is now back in F1 full-time after the 2009 ‘crashgate’ scandal – is confident he is presiding over a competitive project for the coming season.
“We hope to do a respectable job this year,” he told Brazil’s O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper correspondent Livio Oricchio.
“Even without KERS, we beat Caterham on several occasions in 2012 and now for the first time we have a long development programme planned.
“We have also designed our car completely in the wind tunnel for the first time,” Symonds insisted.
“We have KERS now, so it’s a realistic goal to stay ahead of them (Caterham) this year.”
Racing one of Marussia’s 2013 cars – to be unveiled at Jerez on Tuesday – will be Briton Max Chilton, while reports say the other cockpit has been secured by Brazilian Luiz Razia.
Team official Graeme Lowdon told Oricchio that 23-year-old rookie Razia has not been signed, but another voice from inside Marussia on Monday said the Brazilian was due to arrive at Jerez in the evening.
Symonds is hoping the MR02 is born well. “Our pilots are completely inexperienced, so if many changes are needed,” he said, “it will be a problem. “If it’s born well, everything will be easier for everyone.”