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Sergio Perez to stay with Force India for 2018 F1 season

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Force India has announced that Sergio Perez will remain part of its driver line-up for the 2018 Formula 1 season after signing a contract extension.

Perez joined Force India in 2014 and has led its charge ever since, taking four podium finishes during his time with the team.

Perez said earlier this week he was close to finalizing his racing plans for 2018, with Force India confirming on Sunday ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix that he would be staying on alongside Esteban Ocon, who joined on a multi-year deal for 2017.

“Staying with Sahara Force India was always my priority. It’s a team that has allowed me to show my talents as a driver and I feel very happy here,” Perez said.

“I’m proud of everything we have already achieved together and I think there is more to come. The team has done an amazing job this year to develop the car and establish our position as the fourth best team in Formula 1.

“In the end it was an easy decision to continue our journey together.”

Force India team owner Vijay Mallya added: “Sergio has played an important role in our success story over the last few years.

“Since joining us in 2014, he has matured to become one of the quickest and most consistent drivers on the grid. His track record speaks for itself as the most successful Force India driver ever with four podiums.

“Alongside Esteban, retaining Sergio gives us stability going into next season and one of the most exciting driver pairings in Formula 1.”

Formula 1 2018 – Driver Line-Ups

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas
Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen
Red Bull: Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen
Force India: Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon
Williams: TBA, TBA
McLaren: Stoffel Vandoorne, TBA
Toro Rosso: TBA, TBA
Haas: Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen
Renault: Nico Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz Jr.
Sauber: TBA, TBA

F1 races in Austin, Mexico City hitting financial rough patches

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AUSTIN, Texas — Two of Formula One’s three races in North America are facing financial issues that are raising concern about their future.

Organizers of the U.S. Grand Prix won’t get at least $20 million from the state of Texas for the 2018 race after missing a paperwork deadline set by state law. And new questions lurk about the future of the Mexican Grand Prix after the country’s new president suggested the government may not spend on the race like it has the last four years.

Both races have been popular with drivers and fans, and have enjoyed key dates on the F1 calendar. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton clinched season championships in Texas in 2015 and in Mexico City in 2017 and 2018.

Officials in Formula One and at the Circuit of the Americas, host of the U.S. Grand Prix, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.