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GP Week : Issue 36
Major shake-up at Force India THE Force India F1 Team has begun its winter clearout with three high-profile casualties shown the door. As expected, the team has parted company with its engine supplier Ferrari, but more surprising is the news that Team Owner Vijay Mallya has decided to drop both Team Principal Collin Kolles and Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne. Tensions between Kolles and Gascoyne had been high for some time, and the discord between the two is known to have divided opinion within the garage. Sources close to Force India had informed GPWeek at the Japanese Grand Prix that the relationship between the two had become so embittered that important decisions were simply not being made. “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,” said Mallya. “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.” Mallya is expected to announce his new technical and operations line-up today (November 10). The Ferrari news came as no great shock, as Force India is known to have been in negotiation with McLaren and Mercedes over a drive train and potential customer car deal from 2009. Ferrari’s delay in developing its KERS STOP PRESS McLarEn man to lead Force India McLaren Racing Operations Director Simon Roberts is to be the new CEO of Force India Racing. The appointment was scheduled to be announced 11am UK time today (Monday). Roberts, 46, joined McLaren in 2003 as General Manager, after a career in engineering in the auto industry. system for 2009 is believed to have set the Force India technical department on edge, and last week’s announcement merely confirmed what had been rumoured for some weeks. “The Force India Formula One Team today announces that it has ended its contract with Ferrari,”a statement read. “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.”