Raikkonen hopeful of remaining at Ferrari for 2017 F1 season

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Kimi Raikkonen hopes that he can remain with Ferrari for the 2017 Formula 1 season, but concedes that the decision about his future lies solely with the team.

Raikkonen’s motivation and on-track form has come into question in recent years, but Ferrari opted to stick with him alongside Sebastian Vettel for 2016 despite the Finn scoring over 100 points less than his teammate last year.

Raikkonen has enjoyed an upturn in form at the start of the new season, scoring three podium finishes in the opening six races to sit one point ahead of Vettel in the drivers’ championship.

Paddock speculation suggests that Raikkonen will be kept on for 2017, and although Raikkonen said he is keen to stay, he admitted that the decision is Ferrari’s to make.

“I don’t know anything more. You guys seem to know a lot every week, this and that,” Raikkonen said when asked about his future.

“It’s not my decision in the end. I always said I’m happy to be here, I hope I will be here helping Ferrari to get where we want to get as a team.

“What happens in the future, we’ll see.”

Despite being tipped to topple Mercedes at the start of the season, Ferrari has struggled to put up much of a fight to the German marque in the opening six races, and appears to have slipped behind Red Bull in the pecking order.

However, Raikkonen remains certain that the team has progressed and that the SF16-H car is stronger than its predecessor.

“We know what we’ve done. We’re definitely stronger in the car and other areas than we were last year,” Raikkonen said.

“Maybe the results haven’t showed it exactly. It hasn’t been the easiest start for us as a team, but we keep working and it will pay off.

“The package has improved and we’re working on that all the time, our weakness. You always look for better results and wins and putting the two cars up there.

“We are more or less there, so we keep doing the same things.”

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.