Horner: Vettel and Ricciardo achieved all they could today

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has heaped praise upon his two drivers following today’s German Grand Prix, believing that they could not have done any better than their finishing positions of fourth and sixth at Hockenheim.

Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel had started the race from fifth and sixth place respectively, and both enjoyed some great on-track battles with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso who eventually split them come the checkered flag. Vettel managed to finish his home race in fourth place, whilst Ricciardo fought back from a first corner incident to finish sixth.

“Fourth and sixth were the absolute maximum we could achieve out of today, especially after the first corner when Daniel did an amazing job to avoid the accident,” Horner explained after the race. “There was some great racing with Sebastian and Fernando early in the race and he was really our main competitor today.

“Our strategy worked out that we were able to beat him in the end reasonably comfortably with Sebastian and Daniel came close as well after recovering extremely well and fighting hard with some more great racing towards the end. It was an exciting grand prix – there’s still a big gap to Mercedes but we’re working hard to try and close it down.”

Vettel and Ricciardo both spoke about the fun they had racing, with the German driver particularly enjoying his fight with Alonso for the second race in a row.

“It was fun with Fernando today,” Vettel said. “We started maybe where we left off in Silverstone! It was quite entertaining the first half of the race and at one point it was quite tight with both the Ferraris, but we managed to stay ahead.”

Ricciardo was also buoyant after the race despite finishing sixth, saying: “These are the moments and battles that I personally thrive off and enjoy. Fernando is known to be a tough racer and I thought who better to have a good fight with. I was on the primes and he was on fresher options and I gave it the best fight I could.”

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.