Sauber says it will roll out a “completely new” car ahead of its first season without Alfa Romeo’s backing next year.

Alfa Romeo will depart the Sauber-run team after six years as title sponsor at the end of this season, with the Swiss outfit preparing for new partners Audi’s arrival in 2026.

Despite earning its highest finish in the constructors’ championship in the V6 hybrid era in 2022, Alfa Romeo has slipped backwards this year and currently sits ninth in the standings.

The C43 has shown a recurring problem of lacking consistency in both qualifying and race trim, something the team is working hard to fix for next year.

While Alfa Romeo scored its first double points finish of the season in Qatar, it failed to register a top-10 finish over the recent US-Mexico-Brazil triple-header.

The Hinwil-based squad recently welcomed back James Key, who returns as its new technical director following his departure from McLaren earlier this year.

Key is already lending his expertise to Sauber’s 2024 challenger, which team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi confirmed would be a brand new design as it believes it cannot exploit the current concept any further.

“First of all, we are really happy about having James on board,” said Alunni Bravi, as quoted by RaceFans. “He started the first week of September, so he’s also contributing to next year’s car, to our C44 car.

“We reviewed completely the project together with him. Thanks to his experience we went through an in-depth analysis of all the areas of the car, taking decisions.

“So next year’s car will not be an evolution of this year’s car, because we think that there are some limits in this concept that we cannot exploit further.

“We will really have as completely new car from chassis to suspension, everything, all the areas. Of course, it’s easy to identify the problems, but then you need to be able to fix it.

“So we are working hard, the group is growing. We have new appointments that are joining, and that will be able to contribute also to next year’s car but the answer will be given to all of us next year in Bahrain.”