Force India: No Aston Martin deal in 2016

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Force India CEO Otmar Szafnauer says the team remains in talks with Aston Martin but "can't forsee" a deal being completed in 2016.

Last year Aston Martin was briefly linked with Red Bull before entering discussions with Force India about a title sponsorship deal also involving Johnnie Walker. Despite enthusiasm on both sides for the deal Aston Martin said it would make a final decision in January.

Though not writing off the chances of a deal being completed Szafnauer has written off the chances of it happening at any point during the upcoming season, meaning it will compete as Force India in 2016.

"It was flattering to have the serious discussions with Aston Martin and it [would be] a big decision for them to enter the sport and to partner with Force India," Szafnauer said at the Autosport International. "The talks are still ongoing, I can't foresee it for 2016 but you don't know what the future holds, so the door isn't shut on that but for 2016 we'll remain Force India."

Force India finished strongly in 2015, boosted by the introduction of its B-Spec car at Silverstone. Driver Nico Hulkenberg has already stated his belief the team will benefit from a reduced winter schedule and Szafnauer says the team goes into the new season full of optimism.

"If all goes well, we should start where we left off in 2015. We finished the season in a strong position and our aim over the winter is to maintain our competitiveness at that level.

"The regulations haven't changed drastically, a little bit here and there, so we're maintaining the same development path that we've been on and hopefully we've done a bit better job with the budgets over the winter so there won't be a B-spec in the middle of the year and we can come out fighting at the first race."