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Bill Wood 11-11-2008 11:50 AM

Officially official: Force India ditches Ferrari for McLaren
Filed under: Motorsports, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, UK, India

Ferrari's 056 V8 was good enough to propel the Scuderia to the constructors' title this past season, and good enough to bring erstwhile back-markers Toro Rosso to a solid 6th place by season's end. But it wasn't enough to take Force India F1 - the latest incarnation of Jordan Grand Prix - out from the back of the field all season. Notwithstanding the unfortunate incident that saw Ferrari's own Kimi Raikkonen take Force India's Adrian Sutil out from 4th place at the Monaco Grand Prix with only ten minutes to go, Force India didn't manage a top 10 finish all season, earning a grand total of 0 championship points. So rather than stick with Ferrari, Vijay Mallya - the team's owner, chairman, director and main sponsor - has canceled the remaining year left in his contract with Ferrari and defected to McLaren-Mercedes instead.

The new deal, which was widely anticipated, will see Force India using engines, transmissions, hydraulics, Kinetic Energy Recovery System and a variety of other parts from McLaren Applied Technologies and Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines. The collaboration means McLaren-Mercedes will provide pretty much everything but the chassis, which Force India will have to design itself using its new computational fluid dynamics facility.

This new deal with McLaren tips the balance: whereas Ferrari was supplying an unprecedented two teams with engines this past season and McLaren none, in the coming season each will supply another team, while Toyota continues to supply Williams and Renault to Red Bull, leaving Honda (since the demise of Super Aguri) and BMW as the only engine suppliers not supporting b-squads.

[Source: Force India Formula One Team, Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty]

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11-11-2008 12:32 PM

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