“Ser­gio Mar­chionne wants Alfa Romeo back in F1 and so do I! Who is Ser­gio Mar­chionne, though?”

F1 Racing - - BRAKING IT DOWN -

Well, he’s the CEO of Fiat Chrysler, who own Alfa Romeo, and, un­sur­pris­ingly, he’s a man who knows what he wants and tends to get it. Wit­ness the turn around in Fer­rari for­tunes fol­low­ing the changes he ef­fected when he took con­trol from Luca di Mon­teze­molo.

I doubt many of to­day’s fans are fully aware of Alfa Romeo’s dis­tin­guished mo­tor­sport his­tory, which be­gan in 1911, or of what a wor­thy ad­di­tion to to­day’s F1 they’d make. In the 1920s and ’30s, up to the 1934 ad­vent of the all­con­quer­ing Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union teams, the P2 and P3 Alfa Romeos were main­stays of the grand prix scene, driven by su­per­stars such as An­to­nio As­cari (fa­ther of Al­berto), Achille Varzi, Ru­dolf Carac­ci­ola and the leg­endary Tazio Nu­volari. Enzo Fer­rari racked up some wins for Alfa Romeo, too, be­fore he founded Fer­rari as Alfa’s works team.

With the P2, Alfa won the 1925 con­struc­tors’ world cham­pi­onship, and the sub­se­quent su­per­charged straight-eight P3 was the class of the field. In one of them, at the fa­bled Nür­bur­gring in 1935, the great Tazio Nu­volari beat even the sup­pos­edly su­pe­rior Ger­man Mercedes-Benz and Auto Unions at one of the great­est grands prix of all time.

But it wasn’t just in grand prix rac­ing that Alfa Romeo shone. They won the Le Mans 24 Hours for four years in a row, as well as the

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