Tost convinced Verstappen is the right man for Toro Rosso

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Scuderia Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost is convinced that 16-year-old Max Verstappen is the right driver to take the team forwards upon his F1 debut in 2015.

Verstappen’s swift promotion into an F1 seat after just one year in single seaters has caused a stir in racing circles, with many believing that he is too young and too inexperienced.

1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve was one of Verstappen’s most hostile critics, calling his appointment “the worst thing ever for F1”.

However, Tost is certain that the Dutchman is the right driver to join Toro Rosso alongside 2o-year-old Daniil Kvyat after some successful first tests for the team.

“Max Verstappen did, last week, a test in Adria,” Tost explained. “He finished by doing 396km without any problem. People were really impressed with his performance and now it’s in the hands of the FIA whether he gets a superlicence to do the Friday P1 session in Suzuka and then we will see.

“We will prepare him step by step and I am convinced that he is the correct driver for us for 2015.”

Verstappen was originally set to take part in practice at the final three grands prix of the 2014 season in Austin, Brazil and Abu Dhabi, but this has now been brought forwards.

His initial running has been well-received by the team despite his relative inexperience, and it seems for all of the concerns and worries many have raised about the Dutchman, he is well on his way to making his F1 debut in Australia next March.

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.