Stake Sauber Team Representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi expects the team will be closer to its "direct competitors" in Formula 1 compared to previous years.
The team finished ninth in the Constructors' Championship last year and is looking to improve its fortunes, following a lacklustre season in which most car updates failed to deliver the leaps in performance expected.
Technical Director James Key laid out how the team has taken a new approach with the C44 by adopting similar design traits to Red Bull and McLaren.
With a car that is set to offer it more avenues to improve performance, Alunni Bravi expects the team will be closer to the teams that it failed to challenge last year.
"We expect strong competition, maybe closer one. Of course what we are targeting is not Red Bull. We want to be competitive with Williams, Racing Bulls, Haas, they are our direct competitors," Alunni Bravi told media, including RacingNews365.
"We are not happy to be P9, we need to deliver a better job and to improve our Constructors' Championship position."
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Difficult for Red Bull to lose advantage in one season
Sauber has undergone another rebrand ahead of the 2024 season, after spending the last six years racing under the Alfa Romeo car brand.
New title sponsors 'Stake' take the naming rights along with a fresh new paint scheme, leading it into a new chapter before it eventually gets taken over by Audi for a full-factory assault in 2026.
In the mean time, the team will be focused on improving its chances up the grid. But Alunni Bravi conceded that catching Red Bull would be a tough ask: "We have seen when there is a stability in terms of regulations that there is a a convergence in terms of performance.
"Also in the second part of last year, in terms of lap times, all the teams were really close. Red Bull has done an amazing job, they have maybe one of the greatest drivers of all time. I think that it's difficult for a team to lose all their advantage in one season."