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FEBRUARY 15, 2016

Alfa Romeo could be works F1 team says Marchionne

Sergio Marchionne says Alfa Romeo could return to formula one as a works team.

Earlier, the Ferrari and Fiat Chrysler chief flagged the possibility of the return to F1 of the iconic name, suggesting it could supply an engine to a partner team.

In the words of La Gazzetta dello Sport correspondent Pino Allievi, what ensued was nothing short of "chaos" amid the frenzied speculation.

"Chaos? We can call it by its name: interest," Marchionne says now.

"At a time of stability in the Fca (Fiat Chrysler) group, Alfa Romeo should be reiterated as a sports brand and consider the possibility to race in formula one.

"How? Probably in collaboration with Ferrari," he said.

Asked which existing F1 team Alfa Romeo would partner with, Marchionne clarified: "No, Alfa Romeo is capable of making a chassis, just as it is capable of doing the engine."

He said he would also like other carmakers to enter F1, such as Volkswagen's Audi.

"From what I know they were quite ready," revealed Marchionne. "Then came the Volkswagen (emissions) chaos."

Foremost in Marchionne's mind at present, however, is positioning Ferrari as a title-winning F1 marque, some eight years after Kimi Raikkonen won the last world championship in red.

"Generally speaking," he said, "if there was a continuity of failure in the F1 races, this would have impacted on the brand.

"I was talking to one of our dealers and we agreed that the partial success as was the case in 2015 gave a great deal of reinvigoration to the brand.

"But losing for ten years in a row would be a tragedy, a Greek tragedy," Marchionne insisted.