Force India F1 has officially confirmed that it is to part company with Ferrari before the end of its three-year contract - with the smart money suggesting the Silverstone-based concern will instead link up with the Scuderia's arch-rivals McLaren-Mercedes in 2009.

It has been rumoured for some time that the former Jordan and Midland outfit is seeking to tie up a deal with McLaren for next year and beyond, as in Formula 1's brave new technological era managing director Dr Vijay Mallya seeks more than just an engine supply.

The Kingfisher Airlines billionaire has revealed that he is trying to secure 'the whole hog' - an entire drivetrain and KERS package [see separate story - click here] - but doubts over Ferrari's ability to deliver such a package have driven Force India elsewhere.

'The Force India Formula 1 team today announces that it has ended its contract with Ferrari,' read a statement from the squad. '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.'

There have also been suggestions that should an agreement be reached with McLaren, DTM Vice-Champion Paul di Resta will make his top flight debut at Force India in place of Adrian Sutil next season, ahead of a potential graduation to the Woking-based multiple world champions in 2010.

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