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Page last updated at 11:45 GMT, Monday, 10 November 2008

Mallya sparks Force India changes

Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya
Mallya wants to give the Force India team a clearer direction

Force India owner Vijay Mallya is to replace Colin Kolles as team principal in a major shake-up for next season.

Chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne, former technical director at Jordan, Renault and Toyota, has also left.

The team announced it will use Mercedes engines, which power world champion Lewis Hamilton at McLaren, in 2009 after ending its deal with Ferrari.

"These new resources and developments will provide an enormous boost to our technical armoury," Mallya said.

The deal with Force India marks a shift for Mercedes, who since 1995 have worked exclusively with McLaren.

In another step forward, McLaren Applied Technologies, a company owned solely by McLaren, will also supply Force India with gearboxes and hydraulic systems.

We said at the outset that we meant business and were not interested in merely making up the numbers

Force India boss Vijay Mallya

Both McLaren and Mercedes will share their kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) - which will convert energy generated under braking into power that can be used for acceleration - with Mallya's marque.

"McLaren and Mercedes-Benz are two of the most famous names in motorsport history, having achieved great success in Grand Prix racing over many years," added Mallya.

"We said at the outset that we meant business and were not interested in merely making up the numbers.

"The announcement of our new technical partnership clearly underlines that we meant what we said."

Indian billionaire Mallya bought the Spyker team along with Dutch businessman Michiel Mol in 2007 and the outfit raced under its new moniker for 2008.

However, Force India failed to win a single point in their first season with Giancarlo Fisichella's 10th place at the Spanish Grand Prix their best result.


Team-mate Adrian Sutil was running in a brilliant fourth place in Monaco before Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen slammed into the back of him in the closing laps, forcing him to retire.

Now Mallya, who has stuck with Fisichella and Sutil for 2009, has initiated a major management restructure as he seeks success on the track.

"Force India is my most difficult project and 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 a radical reorganisation.

"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 experience."

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see also
Force India keep drivers for 2009
17 Oct 08 |  Formula One
Fisichella wins Force India drive
10 Jan 08 |  Formula One
Ecclestone stalls India GP debut
26 Sep 08 |  Formula One
Spyker change name to Force India
24 Oct 07 |  Formula One
Spyker complete sale of F1 team
05 Oct 07 |  Formula One

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