Marchionne suggested the brand’s sporting image would be bolstered by a Formula 1 return. “In order to re-establish itself as a sport brand, Alfa Romeo can and must consider the possibility of a return to race in Formula 1,” he said.
The possibility of an F1 return comes soon after news that Alfa Romeo is to delay its model offensive, originally planned for completion in 2018, until 2020, as well as Ferrari’s new independence from Fiat Chrysler as a brand.
Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Marchionne revealed that Alfa Romeo would only use Ferrari engines, and “is able to make itself a chassis, and is able to make engines”, adding that a Ferrari-Alfa partnership would be “a classic example of a model to follow”.
The move would be unlike Aston Martin’s proposed move to Formula 1, which was more of a branding proposition, or a Red Bull-Ferrari partnership.
Marchionne said: “You couldn’t imagine a Red Bull brand associated with Ferrari… I say this because they criticise me for not giving them our engine; we either want them in or out."
Marchionne also dismissed suggestions of an Alfa Romeo Le Mans entry, saying: “In the end, this sport [Formula 1] must be saved… I would really like to have it [Alfa] in Formula 1.”