To the eyes of press people and fans alike, Alfa Romeo, as a brand, has always retained that certain je-ne-sais-quoi you just can't find elsewhere. By definition, passion is impossible to explain so we try something else, we try to work it out the other way around, we try to rationalize it. Is it the looks? Is it their history in motor racing? Is it the fact that Alfas feel "human"? Alfa's history is full of ups and downs.
There have been iconic cars like the GTV6, the GTV, the Alfasud, the 33, the 155 e the 166 and all of these cars were great, but they were also flawed. Then we have the MiTo, which is not exactly the most widely praised car in the world, and then we also have the Stelvio and the Giulia, and everybody loves those. But where one may argue that Alfa's history, when it comes to making road cars, isn't immaculate, things are different when it comes to F1.
On May 13, 1950, at Silverstone, Alfa won its debut GP with Farina at the wheel. And it won the GP after that, in Monte Carlo, with Juan Manuel Fangio.
Alfa Romeo had an amazing impact on F1. In 1950, Alfa came home with the F1 title (with Giuseppe Farina) and won all but one race in the calendar (Indianapolis). In 1951, Alfa won the F1 title again, with Fangio.
They came, they saw, they won races. 110 races, 10 wins, 26 podiums, 12 pole positions and 14 fastest laps spanning 35 years, from Silverstone, 1950 to Adelaide, 1985.
So, back to the original question. What about their return to F1? In theory, that's definitely a possibility, in practice, things aren't so simple.
It takes an enormous amount of money to build an F1 car, and it's not easy to come back with a result. Looking at 2016, for instance, Mercedes won the title and if we do the math, each championship point cost them about € 400k. That sounds a like a lot, but maybe it isn't if we consider the now defunct Manor team, they spent 100M and came home with 1 point. Just one.
Let's be frank, shall we? Formula 1 is going through a very delicate phase. There are new plans, new ownership and teams have to pay a fortune just to stay in it, let alone be competitive. And there are other, more accessible and just as important competitions to be considered (Formula E, first and foremost). Personally, I don't know if Alfa can really come back to F1, but I do hope they join Formula E because, if nothing else, that will give us the chance to see this car (in pictures) come to life.