It is now almost certain that Force India will be teaming up with McLaren for the 2009 season in a technical partnership which might also include a customer car type deal.
It has been reported that the teams had hoped the deal would be signed in the days after the Japanese Grand Prix, however with the FIA having announced a raft of new cost-cutting measures in the sport, there has been uncertainty over what teams are permitted to do.
According to Cologne newspaper Express, Gerhard Berger, co-owner of the Scuderia Toro Rosso team, has said, “As I understand it, Force India has secured a customer car from McLaren for the coming year.â€
According to McLaren boss Ron Dennis, the teams are still working on the deal. “Anything that comes along that impacts significantly on your business has a ripple effect to what you are doing,” he explained to Autosport. “If there is any impact on it, the viability of it, it is more likely to be a delay rather than a cancellation.
“But so far we are not in a binding commitment on either side. We are very open to trying to achieve our goal, which is not to make money or lose money, but to be an absolute supporter of one of the independent teams – who are not the lifeblood of F1 but an essential ingredient of F1.
“That is why we are doing it. We are doing it to assist an independent team. I think it will happen still, but it hasn’t happened yet.”