Ferrucci in no rush to reach Formula 1

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Santino Ferrucci says he is in no rush to reach Formula 1, preferring to learn by working his way up the motorsport ladder than make the move up too quickly.

18-year-old Ferrucci of Woodbury, CT, became the first American since 1977 to drive an American-run F1 car when he tested for Haas at Silverstone earlier this week.

Ferrucci enjoyed a successful two-day test, exceeding the team’s expectations and giving it some useful data as it continues to develop the VF-16 car.

Ferrucci currently races in GP3 with DAMS, and is happy to bide his time in junior championships before making the jump up to F1.

“Going quickly to Formula 1 is obviously out of the picture,” Ferrucci told reporters at Silverstone, via GPUpdate.net.

“I have a lot of learning to do, especially in GP3, seeing how the season goes from here onwards, and we’ll make a decision [on 2017] after Spa or Monza.

“Hopefully we’ll step up to GP2, but if not another season in GP3 never hurts.”

Ferrucci currently sits 14th in the GP3 standings after six races, recording a best finish of fourth at Silverstone last Sunday.

The pressure on young drivers to make the jump up to F1 has increased following the arrival of Max Verstappen, who in 2015 made his F1 debut at the age of 17 after just one year in single-seaters.

Verstappen has since become the youngest race winner in grand prix history, but is widely regarded as being an exception to the rule as opposed to a new trend for all young drivers to follow.

Ferrucci is the leading American driver on the European junior motorsport ladder at the moment, and is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Alexander Rossi, who made his F1 debut last season with Manor.

Rossi ended a seven-year drought for American drivers in F1 before making the switch to IndyCar for 2016, where he won the Indianapolis 500 at the first attempt in May.

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.