Marchionne: Alfa Romeo F1 return would be with own team

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Sergio Marchionne has revealed his vision for a Ferrari-backed Alfa Romeo team in Formula 1 to help boost the Italian road car company's image.

Motorsport.com revealed last year that discussions took place between Red Bull and Ferrari about the Milton Keynes-based team running rebadged 'Alfa Romeo' engines as early as this season.

However, due to a number of factors the talks collapsed and Red Bull instead elected to stick with Renault power units for another year.

Ongoing push

Ferrari chairman Marchionne has long held an ambition to get Alfa Romeo back to F1, and now has suggested it will be with its own team, in partnership with the Prancing Horse.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday about the frenzy caused by comments he made before Christmas about Alfa Romeo in F1, Marchionne said: "What frenzy? In order to restore their name they must consider returning to Formula 1. They would probably work with Ferrari."

Chassis plan

Marchionne has only previously suggested that he was in favour of the idea of Alfa Romeo's return to F1, but now has outlined how he would like to see the company do it.

And rather than it being a simple rebadging exercise, he sees it as a much bigger project.

"Alfa Romeo are capable of making their own chassis, just like they are capable of making their own engine," he said.

Although his comments would suggest a standalone project, the price of developing an engine would potentially be prohibitive to the project, so it would be more likely the outfit would take a customer Ferrari engine.

While an Alfa Romeo-Ferrari team may be an unthinkable partnership for some, Marchionne thinks it wrong to rule anything out.

"People struggled to imagine Red Bull working with Ferrari!" he said. "I say that because people criticise me for not giving them an engine.

"I agree with people that say that Red Bull were too tough on their engine suppliers, but in the end this sport must continue.

"The important thing is to have other large manufacturers enter the sport."

Not sportscars

Marchionne is clear on one thing, however: that Alfa Romeo's racing return would be in F1 rather than other high-profile racing categories.

When asked about the possibility of Alfa Romeo racing at Le Mans, he said: "I would rather see them in F1."

 

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Teams Ferrari
Article type Breaking news
Tags alfa romeo