Could we see Alfa Romeo back in Formula One in 2016?
Alfa Romeo boss Sergio Marchionne has claimed he wants to bring the Italian name back to Formula 1.
Marchionne, who took over as CEO of Alfa Romeo and Ferrari parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles following the resignation of Luca Di Montezemolo, has made no secret of his desire to increase Alfa Romeo’s global presence, with motorsport a key instrument in that plan.
“Alfa Romeo is still in peoples’ hearts, so we are thinking of a comeback in motorsport,” Marchionne said from Maranello, where he was taking part in Ferrari’s traditional pre-Christmas media briefing.
“It is important that Alfa comes back, and they will be one more competitor.”
Alfa Romeo almost made a return to the grid next season with Red Bull, though the breakdown in negotiations between Red Bull and Ferrari – whose engine would have been rebranded – saw the deal shelved.
The deal fell apart because of Red Bull’s insistence that it receive the same spec engine as the Ferrari factory team, which proved the sticking point for Marchionne.
“My commitment is to protect Ferrari,” Marchionne asserted. “The possibility of going to beat Mercedes along with Red Bull, I don’t care much for that. What interests me is to win with Ferrari.
“Red Bull is an incomplete team,” he reasoned. “If you have an excellent chassis, but you lack the engine then you are not complete.
“With the power unit you can have a great chassis, but you will not become world champion: you will remain in the garage. So you have to do a deal with a manufacturer.
“What I find really offensive in this whole affair was the claim that someone had to give them an engine to strengthen what is already a very competitive position for them.”
“The reason that the deal with Red Bull was not successful was that, in light of the recovery that we did in 2015, to give our own power unit to a team that has the technical capabilities of Red Bull would have been dangerous.”
Alfa Romeo won the first ever Formula 1 world championship in 1950 with Guiseppe Farina, and ran a factory team again in the early 1980s though without the success it had enjoyed during its first stint in the championship.
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