Force India looks set to step up its relationship with Ferrari for 2009. Not only will the Silverstone based team continue to use a customer engine built by the famous Italian marque next year, Force India is reportedly planning to run a KERS kinetic energy-recovery system that is also developed by Maranello based Ferrari.

"We will run a Ferrari engine and the electronics of Magneti Marelli," team co-owner Vijay Mallya, apparently referring to the introduction next year of a system that will store and re-use energy captured under braking, is quoted as saying by the German magazine Auto Motor und Sport.

Ferrari confirmed recently that its engine and electronics departments have been merged ahead of the major regulation change for 2009.

Force India, however, will continue to build its own gearbox, and the outfit's first 'quick shift' transmission will be introduced at the Hungarian grand prix in August.

Mallya said he was delighted in Bahrain, where Force India driver Giancarlo Fisichella finished ahead of the highly rated McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton.

"I could not hide my laughter," the Indian billionaire said. "In Bahrain, our team made one more step forwards."

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Force India 2008 VJM01