VIDEO: Sutil out of USGP after first lap contact

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Adrian Sutil’s hopes and dreams of scoring a point today in Austin were dashed on the first lap when he was taken out by Sergio Perez at Turn 15. Coincidentally, it was the second straight year the two drivers collided on the first lap of the United States Grand Prix – difference was last year Perez drove for McLaren and Sutil for Force India. Perez is now with Force India and Sutil with Sauber.

Sutil started ninth, a season-best, for his first Q3 appearance since the 2013 British Grand Prix, as he looked to deliver both his and Sauber’s first points of the year. It was Sauber’s best start of the season, as well.

“Today was a good opportunity for us to score points or really try and have a chance,” Sutil told NBCSN’s Will Buxton in the pits. “Sergio did a silly move in my opinion. I couldn’t see it. Car was completely broken. He almost hit Raikkonen. We’ll keep trying and hope for some points. We need two. I think he should come and see me pretty soon… let’s see what he says.”

Perez has spoke as well, also to Buxton: “It’s really unfortunate. This is one of those races you really want everything to go perfect. Very soon in the race, very early, I got into contact with Sutil. I saw the opportunity. I will take responsibility. I took a gamble and it didn’t work out. Sorry for that. We have some telemetry to prove I was having issues with the brakes. We can explain what happened.”

This brought out the first safety car of the race and caused several pit stops.

Pastor Maldonado, Esteban Gutierrez and Jean-Eric Vergne have just been issued 5-second stop-and-go penalties for speeding behind the safety car.

Watch the USGP on NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra as we speak.

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.