Force India re-ups with Mercedes-Benz

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Force India will continue its relationship with engine supplier Mercedes-Benz in 2014, the team has announced Thursday.

It’s an important confirmation given the new technical regulations and engines that come into play with 1.6L V6 turbo engines replacing the outgoing 2.4L normally aspirated V8s. Force India team principal Vijay Mallya expanded on the news.

“Our new agreement with Mercedes-Benz for the coming years is the most significant in the history of Sahara Force India,” he said. “With new powertrain regulations being introduced next year, I can’t think of a better partner to work with as Formula One enters a new and exciting era. The agreement gives us the long-term stability we require and will enable us to continue our journey towards the front of the Formula One grid.”

Force India switched to Mercedes from Ferrari customer engines in 2009. In that time, the team has one pole and podium, each courtesy of Giancarlo Fisichella in Belgium, although there have been several other top-five finishes. Force India has improved to finish as high as sixth in the Constructor’s Championship.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”