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Brand new car 'exactly what Sauber needs' - Bottas

Brand new car 'exactly what Sauber needs' - Bottas
© Reuters
Alfa Romeo may be disappearing from the team name, but what Sauber really needs for 2024 is a "completely new car", driver Valtteri Bottas agrees.

Alfa Romeo may be disappearing from the team name, but what Sauber really needs for 2024 is a "completely new car", driver Valtteri Bottas agrees.

At an awards event in London, the Swiss outfit's 'team representative' Alessandro Alunni Bravi said the new team name will be announced this Sunday.

It was believed that Sauber may revert to the name of its founder Peter Sauber, but Bravi insists the actual name for 2024 may be a "surprise" - a probable new title and naming sponsor.

It's likely to be a stop-gap solution ahead of the full takeover by Volkswagen-owned Audi for 2026, although Bravi insists that Sauber is not therefore in a "limbo period" at present.

"It's not that there is a separation between the Sauber period and the Audi period," he insisted, adding that he recently travelled to Germany to meet with Audi officials.

For 'Alfa Romeo' in 2023, however, it was an almost anonymous season for Bottas and his teammate Guanyu Zhou, who powered the team to second-to-last in the constructors' championship.

Bravi said at the Abu Dhabi season finale that Sauber will have a "completely new car" for 2024, and Finn Bottas says that is "exactly what we need".

Only Haas scored fewer points than Alfa Romeo in 2023.

"Highlights? I think, sadly, it was the first race of the season. Everything was looking quite good," said Bottas, who is part of an unchanged driver lineup for 2024.

"Since then it was a tough ride. So I'm definitely waiting for more highlights next year with a new car."

Bottas admitted that "everything" about the 2023-spec car should be improved for next season.

"The good thing is that we will have a completely new car with some new ideas with new people in the team and that's exactly what we need now," he added. "We need to make big steps over the winter.

He admits one of the Hinwil-based team's main weaknesses this year was falling badly behind in the in-season development race.

"We brought upgrades pretty consistently all through the year like every team but we didn't find anything big," said Bottas. "Meanwhile some other teams found big steps, new concepts, innovative things.

"Some might be copying other teams but while we did steady progress, in this sport, that's not enough. That's why I'm really pleased that we're trying to think a bit outside the box now, also with all the new people who are coming on board."

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Valtteri Bottas at the Mexico GP on October 26, 2023
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