Nico Rosberg taking F1 title bid one race at a time

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Nico Rosberg has said that he is not currently thinking about the end of the season and a possible championship showdown with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Instead, the German driver is taking his bid for a maiden world title one race at a time, and is gunning to win tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix from second place on the grid.

Rosberg currently leads the drivers’ championship by 29 points after a controversial second place finish at the Belgian Grand Prix two weeks ago. While attempting to overtake Hamilton for the lead of the race on lap two, he made contact with his teammate, leaving him with a puncture. This ultimately forced the Briton to retire, and the incident has dominated the F1 media ever since.

All parties have now laid down their weapons and apologized, but the debate is likely to reignite after Hamilton and Rosberg locked out the front row of the grid in qualifying today. When the two drivers go side-by-side into the first corner tomorrow, all eyes will be looking to see whether or not there is any contact.

For Rosberg, winning at the legendary Autodromo Nazionale Monza would be special, but in the grand scheme of things, he is happy to win at any circuit.

“Monza is a special place, also for me because I really like Italy, all my friends are Italian, so it’s great to race here,” he said.

“At the moment, I’m out to win. It doesn’t matter where we are.

“I’m not thinking about the end of season yet or things like that. It’s really every race, try and get the best out of it and try and win the race.”

Rosberg and Hamilton both confirmed that the team would not be using team orders to stop them fighting for the race win tomorrow, which could lead to a classic fight at the front of the field.

Be sure to join us for the Italian Grand Prix, live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7.30am ET tomorrow.

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.