Bottas and Massa delighted to lock out second row

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Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa are both delighted to have qualified on the second row of the grid for tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix, and are looking to translate it into a strong result for Williams that could elevate the team to third place in the constructors’ championship.

Bottas will start the race at Monza from third place on the grid, having finished as the ‘best of the rest’ behind the two Mercedes drivers at the front of the field.

The Finn’s long run pace during practice on Friday suggests that he could even be in the running to claim his maiden grand prix victory, and he hopes that he can give the Silver Arrows something to worry about on Sunday.

“I really hope so,” said Bottas when asked if he could challenge for the race win. “From Friday to today they [Mercedes] seem to have a bit more pace. In qualifying we expected that maybe we could be a little bit closer to them today but yeah, I really hope so.

“I think we have solid race pace and it just depends how much more pace they have left than on Friday.”

For Massa, fourth place is a great result, and the Brazilian hopes that he can carry this form over into the race. However, he does not think that this is his last chance to win a race in 2014.

“I don’t think this is the way I need to think about it,” he said. “Maybe it’s a track we can have good pace, and we need to try to do the best we can.”

With a good points haul this weekend, Williams could move up to third place in the constructors’ championship ahead of Ferrari, who endured a difficult session on Saturday afternoon.

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.