Sergio Marchionne says Alfa Romeo must consider a return to Formula 1 as a constructor to revive its brand with a Ferrari tie-up the most likely scenario.
Fiat Chrysler CEO Marchionne, who is also Ferrari president, has been tasked with turning Alfa Romeo into a global force and he sees F1 as a vehicle to do that.
"In order to re-establish itself as a sport brand, Alfa Romeo can and must consider the possibility of return to race in Formula 1," Marchionne told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"How? Probably in a collaboration with Ferrari."
Rather than a badging and branding project, as was the case when Aston Martin was considering a move into F1 last year, Alfa Romeo would be a proper constructor.
"Alfa Romeo is able to make itself a chassis, and it is able to make engines," he said.
The 1950 and 1951 Formula 1 world championships were won by Giuseppe Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio respectively in Alfa Romeo cars.
The Italian outfit was an engine supplier in the 1960s and 1970s before returning as a works team between 1979 and 1985.
However, Marchionne said another attempt in F1 could involve Alfa Romeo taking a Ferrari engine to make the project more financially viable, describing a partnership as "a classic example of a model to follow".
"You couldn't imagine a Red Bull brand associated with Ferrari," he said when it was suggested that an engine tie-up would not work.
"I say this because they criticise me for not giving them our engine: we either want them in or out.
"In the end this sport must be saved.
"The important thing is to make other car manufacturers enter grand prix racing."
When asked if there was a chance Alfa Romeo could enter Le Mans, he said: "I would really like to have it in Formula 1."
Translation by Michele Lostia