Force India to Part Ways with Ferrari on Good Terms

Days before announcing their future partner for 2008, Force India insist they will part ways with Ferrari – if such a move is confirmed – in good terms. The Indian team has been using Ferrari powertrains for 2008 but, because the Scuderia is very late with developing their KERS unit for the upcoming season, Vijay Mallya revealed that he is also negotiating with McLaren Mercedes for a 2009 powerplant.

“I am in active discussion with McLaren and Ferrari. We will make an announcement either in Brazil, or before Brazil. 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. And that's what I'm seeking to achieve,” argued Mallya his decision to buy for an entire new transmission for 2009.

He also referred to Force India's relationship with Ferrari. In case the two teams will go different ways in terms of engine development next year, Mallya said he will compensate the Scuderia with the necessary funds.

“It is recognized 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,” added Mallya.

If closing the deal with McLaren for next season, Force India are also likely to push for a customer chassis from the British team for 2009. Although there is currently no legal base for the Indian outfit to benefit from a McLaren-built chassis for the upcoming season, it is believed that FIA will reconsider its position on the customer-chassis theme following the latest cost-cutting trend in Formula 1.
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