Ryan Wood  |    |   0  |  20 December 2016

Sergio Marchionne eyeing Alfa Romeo F1 team for 'young Italian drivers'

Ferrari president and FCA chairman Sergio Marchionne has dropped further hints that he is seriously considering the return of Alfa Romeo to Formula 1, with a similar structure to that of Red Bull and Toro Rosso.

Alfa Romeo, which is owned by Ferrari's parent company FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), last competed in F1 as a constructor in 1985, but Marchionne has repeatedly said he would like to see the brand return to the grid.

This week he reiterated those comments and believes it could be a breeding ground for young Italian drivers to make the step up to F1 and Ferrari – similar to Toro Rosso and Red Bull – whilst also sharing components with Ferrari – as Haas does now.

"Alfa Romeo in F1 could become a fine breeding ground for young Italian drivers," said Marchionne on the same day Ferrari announced it had signed GP2 runner-up Antonio Giovinazzi as its third driver.

"The best one, Giovinazzi, is already with us, but there are others besides him, and they are struggling to find space.

"Alfa Romeo, more than our customer teams [Haas and Sauber], could offer them that space."

He added: "There is room for an Alfa Romeo return, possibly as a collaboration with Ferrari."

Alfa Romeo's return is some way off though, with Marchionne insisting it must first make more money through sales if it's to get its own team.

"Not yet, though, because Alfa must first make money through sales of the Giulia and the Stelvio [models]."

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