Alfa Romeo has race ambitions and could return to F3
A year ago the highest boss of FGA already mentioned it, and since the Bologna Motor Show this year new voices are suggesting Alfa Romeo will return in racing. It’s not the question ‘if’ this will happen but ‘when’ and ‘how’. Most people are pointing to the Italian F3 championship. That would be a first brave step towards a return, since the silent dissapearance from racing in 2007.
Alfa Romeo is known to be the earliest and a succesfull Italian brand, especially during the early part of the 20th century with Nino Farina winning the inaugural Formula One world championship in 1950. A comeback seems inevitable then, but a lot is still to happen for Alfa in the upcoming years. The introduction of new models from 2013 onwards (like the Giulia and a bigger size saloon car), and a US market introduction are considered major events. FGA recognizes the potential the brand has, apart from other ‘premium’ brands such as Abarth, Maserati and Ferrari. The revitalizing collaboration so far with Chrysler will ensure there are enough assets to create new possibilities.
Some even speculate that the name ‘Alfa Romeo’ could replace the existing ‘Fiat Powertrain Technologies Racing’ which currently produces 4 cylinder (1995 cc) Formula 3 engines with the likes of Dallara. FPT Racing then would be replaced as a brand but the bonds between Dallara would remain. We can already see a similar cooperation between the guys from Parma and Milan in the 4C concept: this ultra light weight sports car has been designed and crafted together by them.
Engineer Paolo Martinelli, active for Fiat and Maserati, is being named as one of the potential initiators of the project. After being at the heart of the new 4 cylinder TBI development, this experienced engineer who has been head of engine department of Ferrari in Formula One, he is also commited to new V6 and V8 engines. Last year we already supposed Abarth and Alfa Romeo would work closely together on the sport related activities and presumably with help of FPT Racing and Dallara. Alfa should return to light weight racing categories and at some stage make it’s comeback in touring cars (Giulia). Another fantastic project, less likely though, would be a return of Lancia to the epic World Rally Championship… A god’s gift for ‘lancisti’.