Perez: Payment from sponsors never a problem

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Sergio Perez has laughed off rumors suggesting that there have ever been problems with the payments from his backers amid speculation that the Mexican driver is set to be replaced at McLaren for 2014.

Perez joined McLaren at the beginning of the season after a successful two-year spell with Sauber. He retained some of his backing from telecoms giant Telmex whose brand, Claro Video, appears on the rear wing of the team’s MP4-28 car. However, following his confirmation as Lewis Hamilton’s replacement in September of last year, reports suggested that Telmex may have defaulted on their payments. However, the Mexican driver has laughed this off in a recent interview with the official Formula One website.

When asked what the strangest rumor he had read about himself was, Perez said: “There have been so many. Probably the most nutty was that McLaren was not going to sign me because Telmex was not paying on time.”

A similar story has emerged in recent weeks as the team have confirmed they are considering a number of drivers for Perez’s seat in 2014, even if the Mexican driver has produced some good results of late. Youngster Kevin Magnussen is widely though to be his greatest rival for the seat despite his lack of experience, but with the MP4-28 proving to be troublesome for both Perez and teammate Jenson Button, it may be unfair for McLaren to write off the Mexican driver after just one year at Woking.

Perez recently spoke about his excitement for next weekend’s United States Grand Prix, with a large Mexican fanbase expected to attend the race in Austin, Texas.

Indy Lights: Askew wins at Gateway as Veekay’s tires wear off

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For the fourth consecutive race, Oliver Askew is an winner in Indy Lights competition, and with only four races reaming in the 2019 season, the 22-year-old Floridian is on the cusp of winning his first series championship.

After starting Saturday’s 75-lap event at World Wide Technology Raceway from the pole position, Askew was quickly passed by Rinus Veekay on the first lap. However, Askew continued to follow VeeKay closely before retaking the lead on lap 53, a lead which he would not relinquish through the checkered flag.

“I think our car was just better,” Askew told NBC Sports after winning his seventh race of the season.

“I understood that from the beginning that he [VeeKay] had more straight line speed than us, so he was more trimmed out, and I knew that he was going to lose his tires at the end, and he did.

“I just had to keep the pressure on and wait for my opportunity.”

With his victory, Askew now extends his lead over VeeKay in the point standings by 52 points.

For Veekay, who held on to finish second, the fight to remain in the title race will not be an easy one.

“I’ll try everything I can but it’s been very tough,” VeeKay said. “The team and I, we’re giving it all we have. That’s all we can do.”

Daivd Malukas finished third, while Ryan Norman and and Robert Mcgennis finished fourth and fifth, respectfully.

Dalton Kellett took the checkered flag where he started in the sixth position, and Lucas Kohl finished the race in the seventh position.

Toby Sowery finished the race in the eighth and final position after bringing out the lone caution of the race by spinning in Turn 2 on lap 12.

Indy Lights drivers and teams will now head out to the Pacific Northwest for a double header at Portland International Raceway on Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1. Both races will air live on NBC Sports Gold.

Click here for full race results 

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