Force India could have objected to Mercedes-Benz's likely deal to supply engines this year to the beleaguered Honda team, Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya revealed on Monday.

Force India could have objected to Mercedes-Benz's likely deal to supply engines this year to the beleaguered Honda team, Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya revealed on Monday.

His Silverstone based team already has a deal with Mercedes in place for 2009, and he told the Reuters news agency that FIA rules limit each manufacturer to working with just two teams.

"The FIA, I believe, have given special dispensation to Mercedes to supply an engine only to the former Honda team for one year," he said at the Jerez circuit in Spain.

"I'm quite happy to just accept that in the interests of the sport because we've had one team disappear from the grid, Super Aguri in 2008, and I'd hate to see another team disappear in 2009," Mallya added.

He said his understanding is that the Brackley based team will survive and contest this year's world championship, which is "very good news".

 

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