Sergio Perez backs new double points rule for F1 season finale

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So far, the FIA’s decision to award double points for drivers and constructors at the Formula One season finale starting next season has been thoroughly roasted by fans and dubbed “absurd” by the World Champion.

But there had to be somebody with a sunny outlook on the controversial new rule, and that somebody is Force India’s newest hire, Sergio Perez (pictured, left, with new boss Vijay Mallya).

After yesterday’s announcement that he would team up with Nico Hulkenberg at Force India in 2014, Perez gave his take on the new regulations that include the “double points” initiative – which he regarded as a good thing.

“For some, it will be right and for some it will be wrong, but I see the positive,” Perez said yesterday according to Reuters. “I think it will create a much better final race where things can completely change for everyone.

“I see it positive…I am OK with the rule.”

The Mexican racer, who migrates over to Force India from a single season at McLaren, is clearly in the vast minority as fans around the world have declared “double points” as an artificial and unnecessary addition to the battle for the World Championship.

Many journalists have also been full-throated in their disapproval, with Oliver Brown’s piece on the subject in Britain’s Telegraph newspaper among the more pointed; among other things, Brown writes that “the desire for a perfect conclusion is so insatiable that the [FIA] suits in Paris are content with warping the very spirit of the competition.”

Seems like a proper summary of the whole matter, doesn’t it? That said, you have to admire Perez trying to stick up for the rule in the face of such overwhelming negativity…

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.