Lewis Hamilton signs new three-year Mercedes contract

0 Comments

Defending Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has signed a new three-year contract with Mercedes that will see him stay with the team until the end of the 2018 season.

The new deal, reported to be worth over $150m, was announced by Mercedes on Wednesday ahead of this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix after months of negotiations, and will put all rumors of a move away form the team to rest.

Hamilton joined Mercedes for the 2013 season after spending his entire career under the wing of McLaren, and led the German marque to its first world title in over half a century in 2014.

Despite opening talks last summer, the contract has taken a long time to be agreed after Hamilton opted to split with his management company and negotiate with Mercedes alone.

However, a deal has finally been struck, and the Briton was delighted to announce the new deal on Wednesday.

“Mercedes is my home and I couldn’t be happier to be staying here for another three years,” Hamilton said. “This is a company filled with real passionate racers, from the board room to the factory floor, and an incredible hunger to win.

“Even after the success of last year, that hunger is greater than ever – and it’s the same for me, too. The Mercedes car I am driving right now is the best I have ever had in my career; it’s just so much fun to be out there every weekend, on the limit and fighting to win at every track.

“Mercedes-Benz began supporting me in 1998 so I am very proud that this contract means I will mark 20 years with Mercedes in 2018.”

Team boss Toto Wolff echoed Hamilton’s sentiments and expressed his happiness with the continuity at Mercedes after Nico Rosberg penned his new contract last July.

“Continuity is one of the key factors for delivering success in Formula One and we now have that in place,” Wolff said. “Lewis enjoyed an historic World Championship season with Mercedes-Benz last year and it was a priority for this season to renew his contract for the next term.

“We have taken the right amount of time with the process and not rushed ourselves. The result is a strong agreement that will enhance Lewis’ association with the Mercedes-Benz brand, and that recognizes and respects the market value of Lewis and of Mercedes in Formula One.

“Lewis’ sporting track record speaks for itself and he is a great personality for the company. Personally, I am looking forward to continuing to race with the strongest driver pairing in Formula One and to more historic achievements together.”

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

3 Comments

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.