Mallya Will Announce New Engine Partner after Brazil

It is almost certain that Force India will not be extending their engine-supply deal with Ferrari for the upcoming Formula One season, as the Italian Scuderia is very much behind its competitors in terms of engine development for 2009. Instead, team owner Vijay Mallya is hopeful to close a new deal with Ferrari's rivals McLaren Mercedes as soon as possible, in order to go ahead with their planning for next year's car.

“As many of the media has reported, we are currently looking into our package for next season and I hope I will be able to announce a deal very shortly. I will make sure that my team has the best solution for engine, drivetrain and KERS possible so we can get a good head start and try to get the points that have eluded us so far this season,” admitted Mallya earlier today.

Ferrari engineers have recently revealed that the Scuderia is still working on developing their KERS unit and that it's likely that Ferrari will start the next season without a functional unit. This was the first sign that neither Force India nor Toro Rosso were insured a competitive powertrain for 2009. While Gerhard Berger's team is yet to make a decision on their 2009 engine supplier, Force India have immediately concentrated their efforts to finding a new partner.

Also, it is believed that McLaren will not only provide the Indian team with a brand new engine, drivertrain or KERS technology but also with a new chassis. Although the current FIA rules are against such a move – as it would harm the idea of 'constructors' inside the sport – customer chassis is believed to be one of the main topics at next week's FIA-FOTA discussions in Brazil. Following increased efforts to keep costs inside F1 down to a minimum, FIA might allow customer chassis into the sport.

Mallya believes a good reason why his team hasn't scored a point in the 2008 season was because the engineers focused all their efforts into developing the 2009 car from as early as the Hungarian Grand Prix. “Relative to other teams, we haven't made as much progress as they have, but to be fair to the team after Hungary I made a conscious decision to put time and resources into 2009,” concluded the Indian owner.
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