Ramirez: Being in F1 went to Perez’s head

2 Comments

Jo Ramirez – a key figure at McLaren for almost twenty years during the days of Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna and Mika Hakkinen – has hit out at Sergio Perez following the Mexican driver’s dismissal by the team.

It was confirmed earlier this week that Perez will not be racing for McLaren in 2014 after a disappointing year that has seen him fail to live up to the lofty expectations of the team. Instead, 21-year-old Kevin Magnussen will make his Formula One debut with the team next season as Jenson Button’s teammate. Although Perez’s dismissal has shocked many, Ramirez believes that his attitude and approach meant that he did not fit in with the team.

“The syndrome of becoming an F1 driver went to his head very fast,” Ramirez explained to Mexican publication La Cancha. “He always complained about the British press, but they were the same press that wrote: ”Checo’, a good driver, but why is he so arrogant?’

“Checo grew a lot as a driver during the last three years in F1, but unfortunately he didn’t grow as a person at the same rate. Today the drivers are arriving in F1 at a very young age without knowing how to behave. In most cases they have a manager that coaches them. Sergio tried to do it alone and failed.”

Perez enjoyed two successful years at Sauber in 2011 and 2012, scoring three podium finishes and coming close to winning the Malaysian Grand Prix last year. However, McLaren’s decision to sign the Mexican driver was something of a snap decision in the wake of Lewis Hamilton’s departure. It appears that the team has decided to put its faith in their youngster, Magnussen, who has been a part of the setup at Woking for many years now.

All eyes will now be on Perez to see if he can claim a seat on next year’s grid.

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

3 Comments

Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.