Force India still holding out for Aston Martin deal

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley thinks a tie-up with Aston Martin may still be a 'long way off' despite ongoing talks.

Ever since Red Bull's hopes of landing Mercedes engines through a partnership with Aston Martin fell through in the summer, Force India has been favourite to line up a deal with the British sportscar manufacturer.

Discussions have been going on ever since, and Motorsport.com understands that the plans are now at an advanced enough stage for preliminary graphics featuring a blue and gold car to have been prepared.

But although that has prompted talk that confirmation of the Aston Martin could be imminent, Fernley is more cautious about the situation.

Deal not done yet

"It is a long way off I think," Fernley told Motorsport.com. "A lot of people talked to Aston Martin and a lot of people talked to Renault, and there is still no movement on either of them really.

"It is a nice story, but purely speculative."

Force India team principal Vijay Mallya was equally unwilling to commit to saying that the deal will definitely happen.

"We are in discussions and nothing has been finalised," he said. "We have many options and I will be able to confirm or otherwise once I have something to say. I don't like to count my chickens before they hatch."

Diageo deal

As well as the ongoing Aston Martin situation, which will not result in a rebranding of engines but could include other technical co-operations, Force India may get an expanded sponsorship deal with Diageo next season.

This year Diageo's focus at the Silverstone-based team has been with Smirnoff, but it is close to approving a plan to switch across to Johnnie Walker, which is ending its association with McLaren at the end of the year.

Speaking about the latest on that situation, Fernley said: "It is a Diageo decision because of Vijay's connection and influence. They will decide if it is Johnnie Walker or Smirnoff, or any other brand that they want to work with."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Teams Force India
Article type Breaking news
Tags aston martin