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Force India snaps ties with Ferrari

November 07, 2008 21:33 IST
Last Updated: November 08, 2008 10:51 IST

Determined to do better next season, Force India on Friday formally snapped ties with Ferrari [Images] and is all set to ink a new deal with McLaren-Mercedes as its engine supplier for the 2009 season.

The Vijay Mallya-owned outfit, in a statement, said Force India requested Ferrari to prematurely terminate the deal, which was scheduled to expire in 2010.

"The agreement signed in 2007 also provided for a supply of engines in 2009 but will now terminate ahead of schedule at the request of Force India," the statement said.

"Force India wishes to thank Ferrari for its much appreciated and valued support to date, which has always been carried out at the highest level; technically and professionally and within an excellent relationship," it added.

Though the Force India camp is tight-lipped about the deal with McLaren, sources said the outfit would reveal the details in the next few days.

Before the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix, Mallya had disclosed that talks were on with McLaren and ruled out the possibility of any bitterness following a premature snapping of ties with Ferrari.

"Ferrari and us are very, very close friends, we have an excellent relationship. We have told them exactly what we want. We are in discussion. They are aware that I have talked to McLaren, so everything is completely transparent from our point of view," Mallya had said.

"And it is also recognised that if for whatever reason we need to part, it will be a very friendly parting. And that's all agreed. If they have incurred some costs developing engines for us for next year, we'll talk about it.

"We're certainly not going to be bloody minded. If they have incurred costs on my behalf, I think I owe it to them to offer to reimburse," he said.

"Beyond that I think there is a very positive and friendly spirit on either side, and so they will not be any acrimony or any wilful enforcement of a contract," he added. 

Mallya had asked for the entire drivetrain and KERS package from both potential suppliers and McLaren was quick to offer a complete engine, KERS and transmission package.

"Ferrari are not very sure that they can give me the entire drivetrain...At the end of the day what sense does it make for me to have a great engine, a great KERS system, and a gearbox that's tentative? That's why I said go for the whole hog, a good tried and proven and tested package from the top two teams," Mallya said.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis also admitted in the Chinese Grand Prix that talks were on with Force India.

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