Marussia stars in British GP qualifying with Bianchi 12th

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Marussia will be celebrating at Silverstone tonight after the Anglo-Russian team secured its best ever qualifying result in Formula 1 ahead of tomorrow’s British Grand Prix.

Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton both made the most of the tricky conditions to get into Q2 with relative ease, and the minnow team saw its drivers even move into first place on the timesheets at points.

Come the checkered flag, Bianchi finished 12th with Chilton one place further back in 13th, although the Briton will drop to 18th due to a gearbox penalty.

The frenetic session at Silverstone saw a number of big names get caught out. Felipe Massa, Valtteri Bottas, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen were all eliminated in Q1, marking Ferrari’s worst qualifying display since the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix. Even with his penalty, Chilton will start ahead of both Alonso and Raikkonen at his home grand prix.

Marussia is currently enjoying its best ever season in F1, having debuted at the 2010 Australian Grand Prix. In Monaco, Bianchi scored the team’s first ever points in ninth place, and it appears to have pulled well clear of nearest rivals Caterham, whose drivers failed to qualify. They should be permitted to race, but will only do so at the stewards’ discretion.

Although points in normal conditions may still be unlikely for Marussia, Bianchi will be doing what he can to fight from P12 tomorrow, whilst Chilton will enjoy the thrill of seeing two Ferraris in his rear view mirrors on the grid.

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.