Force India Signs Mercedes Deal

Less than a week after parting company with Ferrari, Force India have secured an engine deal for 2009 with McLaren Mercedes. Vijay Mallya made the official announcement earlier today, revealing that the VJMO2 – the team's 2009 car – will not only be benefiting from a brand new Mercedes-Benz engine but also incorporate McLaren's Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS).

Also, Force India's car for 2009 will be equipped with a McLaren-based gearbox – as suggested earlier last week by Mallya – and a brand new hydraulic system. The VJMO2 will therefore differ substantially from the previous Ferrari-powered model in terms of power train, while also presenting the necessary aerodynamic adjustments to satisfy the latest FIA requirements.

“We are absolutely delighted to be able to announce a technical partnership with McLaren Applied Technologies and Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines, and also our plan to expand the composite manufacturing capability and drawing office within our Silverstone facility,” admitted Mallya today, after securing the Mercedes-Benz deal.

This is Mallya's first big achievement as team director – as he replaced departed Colin Kolles late last week – while admitting his was guided in his decision by both FIA president Max Mosley and F1 supreme Bernie Ecclestone.

“McLaren and Mercedes-Benz are two of the most famous names in motorsport history having achieved superb success in Grand Prix racing over many years, and most recently, a superb victory in probably the most dramatic world championship Formula One has seen.”

“The announcement of our new technical partnership, combined with the new developments and resources clearly underlines that we meant what we said. I would personally like to thank Bernie Ecclestone and FIA president Max Mosley, both of whom offered their assistance and support throughout the gestation of this deal,” added Mallya.

This announcement comes only days after Mallya revealed that both team principal Colin Kolles and chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne parted ways with Force India following a disappointed season in 2007. However, Mallya insisted that things will not go the same road in 2009, especially with the new partnership with Mercedes.

“Force India Formula One team has been in existence for only one year, and inevitably our first season has constituted a learning period. But we said at the outset that we meant business and were not interested in merely making up the numbers,” concluded Mallya.
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