Maldonado seeking clean weekend and first points in China

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Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado has set his sights on a trouble-free outing at the Chinese Grand Prix next weekend after a difficult start to the 2015 Formula 1 season.

The Lotus E23 Hybrid car has represented a big step forwards for the team in 2015, with both Maldonado and teammate Romain Grosjean looking capable of points at the first two races in Australia and Malaysia.

However, Maldonado was spun into the wall on the first lap of the Australian Grand Prix after moving up into the top ten off the line, and dropped back in Malaysia due to a puncture on the first lap before retiring from the race late on.

“It was frustrating, especially as by the time I’d caught up with the cars ahead we’d developed an issue with the brakes so it was difficult to attack,” Maldonado said, reflecting on Malaysia.

“It’s racing. I’ve been a bit unlucky, especially in the first corners of the first two races but on the other hand we have a car which is more competitive and this says that we can fight for points through the season.

“The potential of the car is there, we just need to put everything together and the results will come soon.”

Looking ahead to next weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, Maldonado is focusing on a clean race that will give him a chance of scoring his first points of the 2015 season.

“We had a couple of small reliability issues [in Malaysia] but the team’s working very hard on this, and we expect to have these resolved by China,” the Venezuelan explained.

“I’m looking forward to getting out in action in Shanghai and hoping for a clean weekend when we should be able to get some points.”

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.