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Force India terminates contract with Ferrari

London, Nov 7 (UNI) Force India today terminated its Formula One team's Ferrari engine contract a year early and also sacked Colin Kolles as principal and Mike Gascoyne as its technical head.

The Force India formula one team failed to get even a single point this season and it is expected to stwitch to Mercedes engines next season.

''Force India's senior management structure will be streamlined with immediate effect,'' the team said.

''Dr Vijay Mallya will assume the responsibilities of team principal in addition to his position as chairman.

''As a result of the restructure, Colin Kolles, Mike Gascoyne and Patrick Missling, formerly corporate and business director, will no longer form a direct part of the team's design, manufacture, race and test operations,'' Force India added in its statement.

Mallya, who bought the Spyker team last year and renamed it to Force India, said he was compelled to take the decision.

''Force India is my most difficult project to date and it has become clear that it requires more direct input from my side and greater performance accountability,'' Mallya said.

''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,'' he added.

Mallya said the new technical director would be announced on November 10 and will also name the new chief operating officer.

Mark Smith, the design director, and technical director James Key will share responsibility for the design of next year's VJM02.

Force India further said it was on its request that the contract has been terminated and a new deal is expected with Mercedes-McLaren.

However, it did not give any details about the new supplier but Mallya has been negotiating with McLaren for an entire drivetrain (engine and gearbox) package as well as the new kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) to be introduced next year.

He has also offered to compensate Ferrari for any development costs incurred on Force India's behalf for 2009.

Mercedes own 40 per cent of McLaren, with their engines powering Britain's Lewis Hamilton to the title this year.


Story first published: Friday, November 7, 2008, 23:32 [IST]
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