Rossi set to be denied F1 debut for a third time

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American driver Alexander Rossi is set to be denied his Formula 1 debut for a third time as Marussia faces missing the United States Grand Prix in Austin next weekend.

Rossi has been knocking on the door of F1 for some time, spending the past three years in a reserve role at Caterham and then Marussia.

The Californian left Caterham back in July, but soon moved into a similar role at Marussia where he was scheduled to take part in a number of practice sessions from the Belgian Grand Prix onwards.

However, he was set to receive a surprise debut at Spa-Francorchamps when regular driver Max Chilton was benched for financial reasons. The team confirmed on the Thursday of the Belgian GP that Rossi would race in his place alongside Jules Bianchi.

Marussia then reneged on its plans though after Chilton threatened legal action, meaning that Rossi only took part in practice as planned.

Rossi’s next chance for a race start came at the Russian Grand Prix. Following Jules Bianchi’s accident at the Japanese Grand Prix that left him with severe head injuries, Rossi was put on standby to substitute for the Frenchman in Sochi. Ultimately, the team opted to run with just one car, leaving Bianchi’s ready to race, waiting for its driver on the other side of the garage.

Marussia had not confirmed whether it would be racing with both cars in Austin, but if it intended to do so, Rossi would have made his full Formula 1 debut at his home grand prix. Alas, the team’s financial problems mean that it will not be racing until Abu Dhabi at the earliest, meaning that Rossi’s own F1 hopes have been put on hold yet again.

Rossi is known to have held preliminary talks with Gene Haas about a role with Haas F1 Team for the 2016 season, but for the time being, the wait for an American driver to grace the grid continues.

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023


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.