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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’s Valtteri Bottas to compete in first-ever rally race in his native Finland

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Formula One’s “Flying Finn” is going back home for the first time.

More precisely, Valtteri Bottas is returning to his Finland homeland to compete in his first career rally race in the Finnish Rally Championship season opener.

Bottas, teammates on the F1 Mercedes team with five-time champ Lewis Hamilton, will compete in the World Rally Championships’ Arctic Lapland Rally from January 24-26.

He’ll team with two-time World Rally champion Timo Rautiainen in a M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC on rally roads of the Finnish Arctic Circle.

“This is a unique opportunity to take a peek into the world of rallying,” Bottas told Finnish rallying website Rallism.f1. “I would like to thank everyone who has made it possible.

“It’s totally new territory for me too, as I have no prior experience of a World Rally Car. Still, being the race car driver that I am, you always go flat out whatever the vehicle you’re driving in.”

Added Rautiainen, “In my life, I’ve sat in a rally car with only three drivers, but this is such an interesting mission that I just had to accept the challenge. I believe that for a talented wheelman like Valtteri, we’ll be able to establish a good basic driving routine in testing.”

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