McLaren reunites with iconic F1 sponsor Segafredo Zanetti

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McLaren has confirmed that iconic F1 sponsor Segafredo Zanetti has re-joined the team as a partner following a 20-year absence from the sport.

The coffee brand sponsored McLaren between 1984 and 1986, and was involved in Formula 1 until the death of Ayrton Senna in 1994.

It also sponsored Senna when he made his debut in 1984 with Toleman, and the 20th anniversary of his death in 2014 has played a part in the brand’s decision to return to the sport at this point in time.

It was confirmed today that Segafredo sponsorship will be returning to the sport. McLaren will run with its logos on the MP4-29 car and on the overalls of its drivers for the rest of the season.

“The Segafredo Zanetti name has long been associated with motorsport, and Formula 1 in particular, and our decision to return to grand prix racing with the renowned McLaren team signals our intention to further strengthen and grow the powerful Segafredo Zanetti brand,” group president Massimo Zanetti said in a statement.

“When you think of Formula 1, you doubtless think of McLaren; one of the teams that has achieved truly legendary status. Equally, in the coffee world, exactly the same is true of Segafredo Zanetti, and together, we can achieve something special.”

McLaren CEO Ron Dennis was pleased to welcome the brand back to Formula 1 after 20 years away.

“I’m personally delighted that Massimo Zanetti has chosen to return to Formula 1 with McLaren,” Dennis said. “He’s long supported both McLaren and Ayrton Senna, and his passion for motorsport courses through the Segafredo Zanetti brand.

“For Segafredo Zanetti to partner with McLaren in such a competitive international sponsorship market is a reflection of the strength of our brand, our proven track record of delivery for our partners, and the power of Formula 1 to reach an avid worldwide audience of consumers.

“I am delighted that two iconic global brands, both of which are synonymous with excellence, are coming together once more.”

Although this announcement is encouraging, there is still no sign of a title sponsor joining McLaren before the end of the season. It is likely that the team will now be putting its efforts into securing a new deal to herald the return of Honda as an engine partner at the beginning of the 2015 season.

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.