This week it was reported that Alfa Romeo was analyzing a possible entry into the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship’s Prototype category once it adopts revamped P2 rules for 2017. It seems that IMSA isn’t the only racing series the Italian automaker has its eyes on, with Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne also saying the team wants to make a return to Formula 1.
Alfa Romeo was formerly a massive force in Formula 1, winning the championship in 1950 and 1951 before returning to the sport in 1960 as an engine supplier. It then made another return to F1 in 1979 before again withdrawing from the sport in 1985. Its last major involvement in the sport was when it supplied engines to Osella from 1983 to 1988, which culminated in Alfa becoming upset with the team’s poor progress and pulling the plug on the partnership.
“It’s incredible how the Alfa marque remains in people’s hearts,” Marchionne said during Ferrari’s annual Christmas press conference in Maranello.
“For that very reason we are thinking about bringing it back, as our competitor, to racing, to Formula One. It’s important for Alfa to return.”
While a return to Formula 1 as a team would be an expensive venture for Alfa Romeo, it could return to the sport as a major sponsor of a team. Aston Martin has a similar plan to do this with Formula 1 team Force India, and Infiniti also served as a major sponsor of Red Bull Racing before the two entities parted ways earlier this month.
American team Haas F1, which will enter the sport for the first time in 2016, has already established a close technical relationship with Ferrari and will use the company’s engines in 2016. This makes its cars good candidates for Alfa Romeo stickers, and considering the team’s American roots, it would be hard to find a more perfect place to advertise Alfa amid its return to the U.S. market.