Force India have announced some major changes to the structure of their team today, both on the management front and with regards to the technical alliance with McLaren that has been on the tables for some time now. Vijay Mallya’s team have now parted ways with 2008 engine supplier Ferrari, and the squad are free to join forces with McLaren and Mercedes. Also, Colin Kolles and Mike Gascoyne have left as part of a major reshuffle in the management of the team.
Force India are looking for a complete technical package from their engine supplier, and they had asked Ferrari for an engine, drive train and KERS device for the 2009 campaign. However, Ferrari cannot deliver all Mallya’s wishes, resulting in the Indian billionaire looking elsewhere. This is how the alliance with McLaren was born as Ron Dennis’s outfit are in a better position to supply a second team with the necessary components. Although today hasn’t seen a confirmation on this, it is believed that negotiations are in their final phase and an announcement won’t be too far in the future.
The Force India Formula One Team today announces that it has ended its contract with Ferrari. The agreement signed in 2007 also provided for a supply of engines in 2009, but will now terminate ahead of schedule at the request of Force India.
Force India wishes to thank Ferrari for its much appreciated and valued support to date, which has always been carried out at the highest level; technically and professionally and within an excellent relationship. Force India Press Statement.
The management reshuffle is perhaps a little surprising, although it was made public during the 2008 season that Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne wasn’t getting along with the new team owners. His view on the future direction of the squad didn’t align with Mallya’s, and despite trying to mend bridges, it is now clear they were not. Gascoyne is known for his ability to lift an uncompetitive car into places it probably shouldn’t be, having worked with Jordan many years ago. However, along with the departure of Team Principal Colin Kolles, Vijay Mallya will now take up a more involved role with the team.
We have come a long way this season, but we need more and that requires some radical reorganisation of the management structure to ensure the maximum productivity.
I would like to thank Colin Kolles for his tireless efforts in keeping such a small team alive and to Mike Gascoyne for bringing his wealth of technical expertise. Both have played an instrumental part in making the team what it is today.
On Monday November 10th, I will announce the new technical direction of the team as well as the appointment of a new Chief Operating Officer who will assume overall responsibility for our Silverstone and Brackley facilities, Race and Test operations. Vijay Mallya.
Only time will tell if this major reorganisation brings about the desired results for the squad, but the alliance with McLaren and Mercedes-Benz will certainly be a boost to the team.