Hamilton upbeat despite losing perfect qualifying record


MONTMELO – Lewis Hamilton remained upbeat following qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday despite losing his perfect run of pole positions in 2015.

Hamilton entered this weekend’s race in Barcelona with four pole positions from the first four races, but was forced to settle for second place on the grid on Saturday after finishing two-tenths of a second down on Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in Q3.

The Briton failed to improve his time at the end of the session, but felt that there was still plenty to play for despite overtaking being notoriously difficult at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

“I don’t think I was on the back foot at any other stage, I just generally didn’t have the pace today,” Hamilton admitted.

“Nico did a great job and generally I don’t know if I had the balance to my liking but I did the best with it and tomorrow, there is still a lot to play for.”

Hamilton has been particularly strong at the start of races in 2015, and believes that he could jump Rosberg heading on the run to the first corner on Sunday.

“Hopefully, yeah, it is always one of the opportunities,” he said when asked about the start. “You have that and some of the pit stops.

“It is very, very difficult to overtake here. I haven’t even started thinking about that yet.”

The Spanish Grand Prix is live on NBCSN from 7:30am ET on Sunday.

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.