Rosberg closes out Spanish GP practice fastest

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MONTMELO – Nico Rosberg sent out a warning to Mercedes teammate and championship rival Lewis Hamilton ahead of qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix by finishing at the top of the timesheets in final practice.

Rosberg posted the fastest time on both tire compounds, finishing the session in P1 with a quickest lap of 1:26.021 ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in second place.

The early prime tire runs during FP3 saw Rosberg set the pace for Mercedes, going almost two-tenths of a second faster than Hamilton in the sister car, whilst Ferrari found itself a further half a second back before making the switch over to the option compound.

Although the Italian marque managed to cut the gap down to less than 0.2 seconds on the medium tire, it was unable to overhaul Rosberg at the top of the timesheets. Hamilton had been gunning to match his teammate’s time, only to lock up in the final sector and drop down to third on the final timesheets behind Rosberg and Vettel.

Valtteri Bottas finally proved Williams’ pace by finishing fourth, six-tenths behind Rosberg, whilst Kimi Raikkonen lagged home in fifth place ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Felipe Massa.

Following setbacks on Ricciardo’s car on Friday, it was Daniil Kyvat’s turn to take a hit at Red Bull. The Russian suffered a water leak on his car at the start of the session, restricting him to only running in the final 20 minutes.

Lotus also endured a difficult FP3 on Friday morning, with Romain Grosjean complaining over setup problems on his car has he finished outside of the top ten. Hamilton also made a rare mistake, spinning at turn three halfway through the session after running wide onto the astroturf.

Continuing its good form from Friday, Toro Rosso got both of its drivers inside the top ten once again as Max Verstappen finished eighth ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr. in tenth. Kvyat split the duo in P9.

With Rosberg topping two of the three practice sessions so far this weekend, the German will be hoping to carry this good form into qualifying and end Hamilton’s perfect pole position record in 2015.

You can watch qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix live on CNBC from 8am ET.

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.