Alfa Romeo CEO hints at a possible return to IndyCar

Luxury car maker may field cars in racing to reintroduce itself to American market
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Sergio Marchionne is raising a lot of eyebrows lately.

The Ferrari CEO has threatened to leave Formula 1 because he doesn’t like the proposed engine changes F1 owner Liberty Media wants to implement. And now, according to racer.com, Marchionne, who is also CEO of Fiat Chrysler, is hinting that he might like to see Alfa Romeo become part of IndyCar as a way to reintroduce American consumers to the Italian brand.

Marchionne made comments to Italian journalists at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, suggesting that maybe the time was right for IndyCar to have a third engine supplier.

“Why not Alfa Romeo and IndyCar? We think about it,” Marchionne said.

Currently, only Honda and Chevy supply the engines for the IndyCar series. The last time there were three engine manufacturers was in 2012 when Lotus entered the picture, but they were never competitive and pulled out after one season.

IndyCar’s competition president Jay Frye says while he welcomes the conversation with Marchionne, nothing will happen soon.

“The entry point is 2020 or 2021,” Frye said. “Maybe it doesn’t feel like there’s a sense of urgency because there’s nothing coming right now for this season or next, but if a manufacturer came to us today and said they’re in, let’s do this, the earliest they’d be in the field is 2020. It takes time, so everything we’re discussing is a ways in the future.”

Alfa Romeo did have a brief stint one time before in IndyCar, from 1989-1991.

Check Also

Cadillac spools up 4.2-liter DOHC twin-turbo V-8

Cadillac will give its top-of-the-line sedan a shot in the arm with the 2019 CT6 V-Sport. The new performance model also ushers in a new engine for the brand, and it's no slouch. Alongside the CT6 V-Sport's reveal on Wednesday, Cadillac provided details on a new dual-overhead cam, twin-turbocharged, 4.2-liter V-8 engine. The basics? The new mill pumps out...

Mercedes created the world’s most efficient racing engine

Mercedes-Benz dominated Formula One in 2017, and part of its success was no doubt due to its latest F1 powertrain. The big news surrounding the engine is the fact it achieves a 50-percent thermal efficiency. What's so special about that? Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained is here to tell us. Thermal efficiency is the percentage of the energy content of...