Force India set to partner McLaren in 09?

Force India have ended their engine deal with Ferrari paving the way for a technical partnership with McLaren-Mercedes in 2009.

Force India boss Vijay Mallya is believed to be in negotiations with McLaren to secure a deal for a drive train package, and the announcement today that his team have ended their collaboration with Ferrari would seem to confirm the reports.

Mallya was locked in lengthy negotiations with McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh in Brazil, it has been reported by autosport.com, but the pair were unable to finalise the deal.

With contractual issues with Ferrari now seemingly resolved, the Anglo-Indian outfit is free to press ahead with its negotiations with McLaren.

The team said in a statement: “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.”