“As I understand it, Force India has for the coming year secured a customer car from McLaren,” German media quoted Berger as saying. The news comes only days after most rumors announced the end of Vijay Mallya's team partnership with Ferrari. With Force India using a McLaren car for the upcoming season, it's more than likely that the Indian team will also benefit from Mercedes-Benz engines next season.
The reason why Force India chose to end their collaboration with the Scuderia seems to be the fact that the Italian team is very much behind schedule with the development of their 2009 car. Sources within the F1 paddock, along with official statements from technical director Aldo Costa, revealed that Ferrari have a lot of catching up to do regarding the implementation of the KERS technology and car's setup for 2009.
“I can not deny that we are lagging behind. Let me just say that I would prefer if our system was already in the testing phase. We now have to do a lot in a short time frame. During the battle for the world championship we have put a lot of effort into the F2008, and now we must also focus on next season,” Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport quoted Costa as saying earlier last week.
Customer cars are to be banned from F1 starting 2010, with teams having to build their own car and become full constructors. Nevertheless, with the new cost-cutting trend that took over the world of Formula One in recent weeks, there's a very big chance for customer teams to benefit from new rules regarding standardized parts and technology-sharing when building their chassis.