Ferrari chairman and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne thinks a standalone Formula One team would be the best way to boost Alfa Romeo’s image, per Motorsport.com. Not a mere decal on the Ferrari car as they have now, but an entire Alfa team, likely powered by Ferrari power units.

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Marchionne told Gazzetta dello Sport, as quoted by Motorsport.com:

In order [for Alfa Romeo] to restore their name they must consider returning to Formula 1. They would probably work with Ferrari.

Per Motorsport.com, Marchionne originally envisioned Red Bull taking on Alfa Romeo-branded power units, had they been able to strike a deal with Ferrari to use Ferrari power this year.

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Alfa power isn’t enough, though. Marchionne wants a full F1 effort branded with the marque’s name. Marchionne’s mouth also appears to be writing some checks his company probably can’t cash in the process, telling Gazzetta dello Sport that he believes that Alfa Romeo can not only make their own chassis, but come up with their own engine as well.

If you have any idea where the secret repository of butt-tons of cash is at FCA, I believe I’ve found the fellow who is looking for it. As such, Motorsport.com notes that the cost of developing a separate Alfa Romeo power unit would likely be prohibitive, forcing them to use Ferrari power anyway.

But don’t call him nuts for dreaming, man! Marchionne fired back at Gazetta dello Sport, as quoted by Motorsport.com:

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People struggled to imagine Red Bull working with Ferrari! I say that because people criticize 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.

Yes! More manufacturers would be great! More competitive manufacturers is what’s needed, though, and I’m not sure a budget consisting of a shoestring and a toothpick could even beat Honda’s struggling entry at this game.

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What about a run at Le Mans or some other form of racing, if the F1 business proves too costly, or doesn’t work out? Nah. “I would rather see them in F1,” Marchionne clarified to Gazetta dello Sport.

Alfa Romeo has been missing from the Formula One grid since the late eighties, so it’s been a long time coming if they’re on the way back.

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Photo credit: Getty Images


Contact the author at stef.schrader@jalopnik.com.