No team orders for Hamilton and Rosberg despite front-row lock-out

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Lewis Hamilton has said that he and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg will be free to race in tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix despite qualifying side-by-side on the front row of the grid at Monza today.

The Briton secured his first pole position since the Spanish Grand Prix ahead of Rosberg, beating his teammate and championship rival by just two points.

However, with the first corner at Monza being notoriously tight, and following their collision at the last race in Belgium, many are considering whether there might be a second incident between the two Silver Arrows in the race tomorrow.

Speaking in the press conference after qualifying, Hamilton confirmed that there would be no team orders, and the team would stick to what it agreed on in a meeting last week.

“That [no team orders] was the decision last week,” Hamilton said. “For tomorrow, it’ll be really good to get another one-two for the team.

“I hope that we also have some competition from [Williams], that’ll be great for the fans.” Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa will start directly behind the Mercedes drivers in third and fourth place.

For Rosberg, finishing second ended his streak of four pole positions, but he was still happy with his efforts in the final part of qualifying.

“It was an okay lap,” Rosberg said. “Second place is definitely still a good position for tomorrow. It’s a long race, anything can happen. We need to look towards the race and try and get a good start, and have a good race.”

Rosberg agreed with Hamilton’s view on team orders, saying: “It’s not changed from the start of the season. It’s the same as always.”

Regardless of what the drivers and the team say, all eyes will be on Hamilton and Rosberg when they go side-by-side into the first corner at Monza tomorrow in the heat of a championship battle.

You can watch 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.