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Sergio Perez extends F1 contract with Force India for 2019

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Force India has announced a one-year extension for 2019 for Mexican driver Sergio Perez ahead of the U.S. Grand Prix and next weekend’s return to Mexico City.

Perez has been with Force India since 2014, and he and his management team have been closely involved in the restructuring of the team. He is expected to partner with Williams driver Lance Stroll, whose father led a consortium in helping resolve the Formula One team’s financial problems.

Perez is seventh in the 2018 championship standings, the same position he finished in 2016 and 2017. He has five podium finishes over his career with his best finish this season a third place at Azerbaijan.

The 28-year-old Perez said Thursday he is excited about new investment in the team and said “the best is yet to come.”

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen takes pole at Brazilian GP

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has taken pole position for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

It’s the second career pole for the Dutch driver, who beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by just 0.123 seconds.

Verstappen’s first pole was earlier this season at the Hungarian GP in August.

Six-time champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes will start from third position. The 2018 winner at Interlagos finished 0.191 seconds back.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Alexander Albon finished in fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

Hamilton was fastest in final practice earlier Saturday, 0.026 quicker than Verstappen.

The Brazilian GP on Sunday is the penultimate race of the season. Hamilton secured the season title, his sixth, in the previous race in the U.S.