The “Alfa Romeo” name could at last return to Formula 1 racing, albeit in a limited capacity, with Autosport reporting that the F1 engines Ferrari supplies to Swiss team Sauber could be branded “Alfa Romeo” in future seasons. On previous occasions, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne expressed an interest in reintroducing the Italian brand to F1 competition, at one point even suggesting that an Alfa Romeo team could help develop junior drivers for Scuderia Ferrari.
Alfa Romeo has a long and storied history in Formula 1 racing as both a constructor and engine supplier, stretching from 1950 to the late 1980s. The Italian brand’s last factory works team operated from 1979 to 1985. A return to F1, even with such a limited scope, could go a long way toward boosting Alfa Romeo’s image as a sporty performance brand.
Sauber was on track to abandon Ferrari as its engine supplier for the 2018 season, with plans to utilize Honda power instead. However, the Swiss Formula 1 team changed tack over the summer, deciding to sign a new multi-year agreement with Italy’s prancing horse.