Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has alluded once again to a possible return to Grand Prix racing of the legendary Alfa Romeo brand.
Speaking to Italian media, the Fiat Chrysler boss outlined an idea which would involve an Alfa Romeo F1 team serving as the breeding ground for young Italian drivers.
But before any tentative projects can be devised, the iconic brand first needs to garner success off the track, with its line of road cars.
"At the moment, because of the launch of road cars that will come out soon, there already numerous commitments from a financial point of view," explained Marchionne.
"With the launch of the Giulia and the Stelvio [road cars] we have to wait a bit, but I hope to be able to bring it back."
Ferrari's rostrum of young chargers includes GP2 drivers Charles Leclerc, Antonio Fuco and 2016 runner-up Antonio Giovinazzi who was announced just yestarday as the Scuderia's third driver.
"Alfa Romeo in F1 could become a fine breeding ground for young Italian drivers," Marchionne said.
"The best one, Giovinazzi, is already with us, but there are others besides him, and they are struggling to find room. Alfa Romeo, more than our customer teams, could offer them that space.
"We have spoken also with [Mattia] Binotto and [Maurizio] Arrivabene to understand in what way Alfa Romeo can collaborate with Ferrari.
While an Alfa Romeo entry would indeed provide access and an outlet to F1 for the team's burgeoning talent, Marchionne insisted its approach would be different than that of Toro Rosso and Red Bull.
"We are not trying to emulate the experience of Red Bull Marko with Verstappen. This is a unique case and we can’t replicate it.
"We like Giovinazzi because he’s a great driver. The Scuderia must have a group of young drivers who must be ready to be involved. We don’t know if at the end of 2017 Kimi will continue to race.
"Sebastian, on the other hand, will have to find a better feeling with the car. He needs to have a good relationship with 2017 car. We owe him a lot and we want to give him a car that’s up to it."