Hulkenberg confident of big points in Austria from front row

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Nico Hulkenberg is confident that he can bring home a sizeable points haul in Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix after qualifying second at the Red Bull Ring.

A rain shower in the lead-up to Q3 left the track wet before drying out as the session wore on, allowing Hulkenberg to take advantage of the slippery conditions in his Force India car.

The German driver ultimately finished third at the checkered flag, but rises to second place on the grid by virtue of Nico Rosberg’s grid penalty.

“A great qualifying session and I’m feeling very happy and satisfied with our performance,” Hulkenberg said after the session.

“The drying track today reminded me of my pole position from Brazil 2010 and I have to say I really enjoy these tricky conditions.

“You don’t know where the grip is. You have to take some risks and you have to switch to dry tires at just the right moment – which is something we did today.

“It was just a super effort from the whole team and it puts us in a great position for the race. There will be a lot of quick cars around us, but my car feels good.

“We’ve been strong here in all the sessions so I think we can bring home a lot of points.”

Teammate Sergio Perez was sidelined after Q1 by a suspension issue on his car, leaving him 16th on the grid for tomorrow’s race.

“I’m feeling disappointed about what happened during qualifying. We found a good balance with the car this morning and we should have easily made it through to Q3,” Perez said.

“I was on my second run during Q1 when I felt something strange at the rear of my car. I managed to recover to the pits and we saw that it was a suspension failure, but unfortunately there was not enough time to fix the car and my session was done.

“It’s a big missed opportunity today, but I won’t give up because I know we can recover some ground tomorrow and still be in the fight for points.”

The Austrian Grand Prix is live on CNBC and the NBC Sports app from 7:30am ET on Sunday.

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.