Joining Williams has made Massa “feel young again”

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Felipe Massa has revealed that he is thankful for Ferrari’s decision to drop him at the end of last season, as it opened the door for him to join Williams with whom he feels “young again”.

The Brazilian driver left Ferrari at the end of 2013 after eight seasons with the Italian team to make way for Kimi Raikkonen. He found refuge at Williams after Pastor Maldonado’s departure, and has since appeared to be far more relaxed.

Speaking to German publication Bild, he confirmed that he felt rejuvenated for the move after being under pressure at Maranello.

“Looking back now, I am even glad that Ferrari did not want me because it opened the way for coming to Williams,” he explained.

“You know, sometimes a change is good. I’m pretty relaxed, motivated, the team respects me. I’m older but I feel young again.

“I’m ready to fight and work hard. I regret nothing. It was absolutely the right move.”

At Ferrari, Massa was under a great deal of pressure to emulate teammate Fernando Alonso, and was faced constant scrutiny throughout their time together. Unsurprisingly, he does not miss this pressure.

“Here at Williams I think only about the racing, which is better,” the Brazilian explained.

“At Ferrari, if you don’t win, you have a big load on your shoulders. You try to use it as positive energy, but you are constantly tense.”

Massa’s Formula 1 career does appear to have been given a new lease of life since joining Williams. Even in press conferences and walking around the paddock, he looks like a man who has had the weight of the world lifted from his shoulders.

However, he will undoubtedly be aware that he is currently being beaten by his teammate, Valtteri Bottas, who is in his sophomore F1 season. The Brazilian will be keen on redressing the balance in the next few races, and without the pressure that he faced at Ferrari, he could soon return to the podium as a Williams driver.

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.