Marcus Ericsson has no doubts the new Sauber C34 Formula One car is a big step forward compared to last year's single-seater.
The Swiss team failed to score last year, the first time it finished without any points since it entered the sport in 1993.
Ericsson is joining Sauber this year after a difficult rookie season with Caterham in 2014, and the Swedish driver believes the Hinwil-based team is ready to make a significant step forward.
He tested the old Sauber in last year's test in Abu Dhabi.
"For sure it's an improvement," Ericsson told Motorsport.com. "The car is more stable under braking, and has more grip in general. It's a couple of steps better.
"More stability is the main difference for me. The car feels more together. And Ferrari has also made some big steps on the engine side.
"So overall we have made good gains and it's really promising."
Points-scoring return a must
Ericsson says Sauber must return to the point-scoring positions this year, especially now it could finish in last place without the presence of Caterham and Marussia.
"I think it's very difficult to set specific targets especially now in the pre-season because you don't know where you are or what other people are," he added.
"It's very difficult. But I think for sure, if you look at Sauber all the years they have been in Formula One they have been scoring points and fighting for points, apart from 2014, so of course we need to target to be back on that level and fight for points and score points.
"That's our big target and then apart from that we need to wait and see in a couple of races to see where we are compared to the others and then set more specific targets."
Ericsson is scheduled to drive the car tomorrow in Barcelona, although teammate Felipe Nasr was involved in an accident and the C34 was heavily damaged on Thursday.