Gutierrez: I have proved that I deserve to be in F1

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Sauber driver Esteban Gutierrez is confident that he has proven himself to be worthy of a seat in Formula One as he heads into the winter break without a secure contract for next season.

The Mexican driver finished inside the top ten on just one occasion in 2013, finishing seventh at the Japanese Grand Prix. However, this did mean that he finished the year as the top rookie with Valtteri Bottas picking up just four points and Giedo van der Garde, Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton all failing to score any points. In his ‘Rookie Diary’ for the official Formula One website, Gutierrez explained that his is not feeling uneasy about 2014.

“How much of a weight on my mind is it that I don’t have a contract for next year yet? Well, once you get into Formula One you have to accept that it is a pretty unstable situation for most drivers,” he explained. “Maybe you have stability for the first three months, and the rest is a roller coaster ride. But that is something that you get used to and you should not combine what is happening around you with your performance.

“The bottom line is that I have big goals in F1 and I want to achieve them. I believe that with my race performances from Singapore onwards I have proved that I have the level to be in Formula One. So I am confident for my future. God will place things where they belong.”

Gutierrez is not the only Mexican driver looking for a seat in the sport next season with McLaren’s Sergio Perez also without a contract for 2014.

However, Gutierrez is probably one of the most improved drivers across the course of the season. He has certainly turned a corner since the Singapore Grand Prix when he explained how he wanted to be more aggressive. Since then, he has regularly competed for points, and he will be hoping that this has been enough to prove himself worthy of a seat next year.

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

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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.