Click for a hi-res gallery of the current Force India VJM01
So far, the Force India team has had a consistent season in Formula One. Unfortunately, that means consistently running at the back. But Indian business mogul Vijay Mallya is committed to making a go of it, and the latest deal in the works could give his team the machinery they need to start moving up the field.
The deal is reportedly all but complete between perennial back-marker Force India and front-runners McLaren for the former to buy their cars – lock, stock and barrel – from the latter. It's a highly tentative deal, however, as Formula One rules are due to be enacted that would ban customer cars. F1 teams are supposed to act as their own constructors, however other teams – such as Red Bull and Toro Rosso, Honda and the defunct Super Aguri – have been using common designs. David Richards' Prodrive outfit was slated to re-enter the series with customer cars from McLaren, but withdrew their tender at the last minute due to the anticipated ban on customer cars. Force India, which currently builds its own chassis and buys engines from Ferrari, evidently thinks the rules won't be enforced. If it is allowed to proceed, the Force India team would turn into an effective B-squad for McLaren.