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Mallya confident new car will be competitive

NEWS STORY
12/01/2009

Force India owner Vijay Mallya is confident that his team will be far more competitive this season, following the establishment of a major partnership with McLaren and Mercedes.

Following weeks of speculation, the deal was announced in November, and according to Pitpass sources, McLaren will have an influence in almost every department at Force India, even marketing, thereby giving further credence to talk that the Silverstone-based outfit is essentially a McLaren B-team.

"The new car, the VJM02, is under construction," Mallya is quoted as saying by the Indian media. "It will have a McLaren gearbox and Mercedes engine, which is a big change from the VJM01.

"We are going to unveil it at Jerez in early March," he revealed, adding that the car's KERS system will be provided by its new partners and will hopefully be on the car for Melbourne.

With the season getting underway on March 29, Mallya remains confident that the car will be ready and competitive despite the lack of testing beforehand.

"We will have six days to test, which I think is enough," he said. "Besides, the facilities at our Silverstone factory is up to the mark and I think we would be ready for the first race."

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