Alonso feeling fresh motivation after first McLaren test

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Following his first test for the team in Jerez last week, Fernando Alonso is feeling a fresh motivation and adrenaline ahead of the new Formula 1 season as he settles into life back at McLaren.

After five unsuccessful years with Ferrari, Alonso – pictured alongside teammate Jenson Button – confirmed at the end of last year that he would be rejoining McLaren for 2015, having raced for the team in the controversial 2007 season.

The Spaniard is still searching for his third world title following his successes with Renault in 2005 and 2006, but in a press conference earlier this week he said that he felt rejuvenated for 2015.

“I am very happy to be part of this new era of the McLaren-Honda partnership,” Alonso said. “I had the honor of being the first in the car on the first day and do the first couple of laps. It is a very challenging time for all of us trying to succeed with this project.”

Honda returns to F1 in 2015 after six years away, exclusively powering McLaren and reforging the successful partnership of the late ’80s and early ’90s. Although the new MP4-30 car did present some expected teething problems, Alonso feels that the team can be gunning for race wins in the not-too-distant future.

“I’m very excited to be part of the McLaren-Honda family,” Alonso said. “After many years in Formula 1 I feel the new motivation and the adrenaline of competing at the maximum level with the best possible team. We will be ready for some victories hopefully soon.”

Alonso will get his next run in the MP4-30 at the second pre-season test in Barcelona, driving for McLaren on the Saturday and Sunday of next week’s test.

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.