Momentum and expectations high at Williams for 2015

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Following today’s launch of the Williams FW37 car, Felipe Massa has said that the team is entering the 2015 Formula 1 season full of confidence after a successful 2014 campaign.

Williams was arguably the surprise package of the last season, finishing third in the championship ahead of Ferrari and McLaren as Massa and Valtteri Bottas picked up nine podium finishes. In 2013, the team had scored just five points en route to ninth place in the final standings.

The team is now looking to build upon its 2014 form heading into the new season, with Massa believing that everyone is moving in the right direction.

“The momentum we carry from last year has been very encouraging,” Massa said. “The team has changed so much from 12 months ago and it is clear to see everyone is heading in a good direction.

“The development rate of the FW36 was one of the most exciting elements of the car. The team worked exceptionally hard throughout the year to make sure that we had a faster car at each race, and I look forward to a similarly impressive car this year.

“I am excited to be continuing to work with Valtteri, a driver with so much talent who has so much to offer both the team and me as his teammate.”

Following the success of 2014, Bottas believes that Williams enters the new season with high expectations, and the Finn is now targeting his first race win in Formula 1.

“Coming into a season after third position in the constructors’ championship carries the weight of a lot of expectation,” Bottas said. “Other teams and our fans are expecting a performance like last year, and all the personnel at Williams have been working tirelessly to make sure this is not only achievable but the benchmark for improvement.

“For much of last year we had the second fastest car, and this year we plan to take every opportunity to challenge at the front. After my first podium in 2014 I hope to continue developing as a driver as I aim for my first win. I look forward to working closely with Felipe again this year as we strengthen our relationship to extract the most from the car.”

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.