Force India cars will have engines designed and built by Mercedes-Benz for the 2009 Formula One season.
Mercedes to supply Force India team
NEW DELHI // Force India cars will have engines designed and built by Mercedes-Benz for the 2009 Formula One season. This agreement will mark the first time that the German manufacturer will supply engines to a chassis constructor other than McLaren. "In a long term deal, Force India cars will be powered by engines designed and built by Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines," a Force India statement said.
Force India announced on Friday that it had ended to its collaboration with engine supplier Ferrari. The team also signed a partnership deal with McLaren Applied Technologies. "McLaren will supply the Force India cars with McLaren Racing gearboxes and hydraulic systems and provide operational support to ensure Force India functions at its highest possible level," the statement said. "We're absolutely delighted," said Vijay Mallya, chairman of Force India. "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."
Lewis Hamilton won this season's title by one point over Felipe Massa of Ferrari after the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix. Force India also announced that they plan to fit their cars with a kinetic energy recovery system that is currently being developed by Mercedes-Benz and McLaren Racing. The McLaren Chief Executive Officer Martin Whitmarsh stressed that Force India would remain an independent constructor, in compliance with the sport's governing Concorde Agreement, and was not about to become a 'B' team. "This isn't a takeover by McLaren," said Whitmarsh. "I look forward to the day, and I will have a big smile, when we see Force India on the podium. Obviously I hope that we (McLaren) have two cars on the upper steps. "We are in Formula One to compete and I would be disappointed if the management of Force India aren't looking forward to the day when they give McLaren a hard time on the track. "If someone is going to beat us in the future, at the moment I'd rather it was a Force India than someone else." Whitmarsh dismissed any concern about the new deal will dilute his team or Mercedes' championship efforts. "I believe we can bring business benefit to this organisation and I hope that we can learn some things, not just operationally," he said. "We are going to learn lessons by looking over the shoulder of Force India and take stock of some of the things we do. "I believe we will become stronger as a consequence of this. I would not have gone into this unless I believed it was going to help us win world championships in the future." The 2008 season was Force India's first full season in F1, with drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil ending the campaign without any points.
"Force India Formula One Team has been in existence for only one year, and inevitably our first season has constituted a learning period," Mallya said. "We said at the outset that we meant business and were not interested in merely making up the numbers. "The announcement of our new technical partnership and new resources clearly underlines that we meant what we said." *AP