F1 drivers ready to cheer on home nations at FIFA World Cup

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F1 might be one of the series that we primarily focus on at MotorSportsTalk, but sometimes we find ways to branch out into other sports. In this case, it’s soccer.

With the FIFA World Cup coming up in Brazil, a number of the current Formula 1 drivers are looking forwards to cheering on their home nations at the biggest event in soccer, and it is a good way for them to wind down from the racing.

“Yeah, I love football, I watch everything, so I will maybe be watching most of the games,” Brazilian driver Felipe Massa explained during the FIA press conference on Thursday. “I really hope that Brazil can be there in the final. To win the championship at home would be fantastic so I will be there watching and supporting Brazil.” Felipe, there’s a good chance that might just happen.

Germany will enjoy a considerable amount of support from the F1 paddock, with four drivers on the grid. “Well I hope that Germany is going to be good,” Nico Hulkenberg said. “But I’m not a football expert but I’m sure I’m going to be behind the TV following the World Cup.”

The likes of Mario Gotze and Manuel Neuer will also enjoy some support from Adrian Sutil, whose allegiance is split: “I’ll be watching, cheering for Uruguay and Germany, because I’m half Uruguayan.”

Uruguay is tasked with getting through a group that includes Italy and England, with the latter having the faintest of hopes of repeating its triumph in 1966.

Lewis Hamilton is hoping to get out to Brazil to watch a game, saying: “I don’t follow it as much, but I will probably catch a few games and I want to try and see if we can go out to one of the games at least. The dream will be to go and watch Brazil and England play, that would be pretty awesome.”

Compatriot Jenson Button said: “Yes, I totally agree. I’m not a massive football fan, I don’t support a team but when it comes to nationalities, countries playing, obviously I will be supporting England and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Final word to Japan’s Kamui Kobayashi: “Me? On soccer? I don’t really care so I don’t follow anything. All I know is that Japan is not really strong so I don’t care.”

The FIFA World Cup gets underway on June 13th in Brazil. Be sure to check out ProSoccerTalk for all of the latest reports and news from the tournament.

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.