The squad has yet to score a point since arriving in F1 in 2010, although it did beat peers Marussia and HRT to 10th in the constructors' championship from 2010-12.
Abiteboul defended Caterham's record, arguing that it was now impossible for a start-up team to achieve success in the short term.
"It is difficult to know if we could have done a different job," he told AUTOSPORT.
"The only shortcut that potentially could have been found, is by getting a proper association with bigger teams. Because it is true that that creates immediate return from a performance perspective.
September 2012: What new teams' form says about F1
"But finding the place, moving from zero people to the 350 that we are now, you see the time that it costs an organisation to go through a restructuring, so can you imagine starting from scratch, you have no process, you have nothing.
"You have nothing, no account, no delegation authority, no cashflow management, nothing.
"Everything needs to come together in parallel, and in addition to being a proper business you also have to be competitive enough to compete against companies that have been investing for 35 years like Williams.
"Would it have been possible to have done a better job? I believe in the last two years in particular we could have been closer to them but the task is just huge."
He argued that all the teams currently succeeding in F1 had their roots in long-established organisations.
"For Red Bull, it took a while to get it right and yet they are starting from Jaguar," said Abiteboul.
"Lotus is a fantastic team, nothing to say against that, but they started from Toleman and Benetton.
"Sauber was established and had BMW, so we see the teams that are competitive are competitive because they are established and proper run businesses, and that is also what we have to be."
- Sports & Recreation