Italian Grand Prix set to remain at Monza for next three years

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The Italian Grand Prix is set to remain at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza until 2019 following an announcement from Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone and the Automobile Club d’Italia on Friday.

Monza has hosted all but one Italian Grand Prix since the formation of the F1 world championship in 1950, but faced an uncertain future after negotiations over a new contract stalled.

Ecclestone stressed that he would hesitate to find an alternative venue for the race if an agreement could not be reached on hosting fees, leading to discussions with Imola, the former host of the San Marino Grand Prix.

In a press conference on Friday afternoon, Ecclestone and ACI president Angelo Sticchi Damiani confirmed that a deal had been agreed to keep the race at Monza, although it is yet to be signed off.

“Regretfully, legally we can’t sign it here, but more important is that we have an agreement thanks to our lawyers and we are getting all the small details sorted,” Ecclestone said.

“There is no problem in having the race here. The contract will be for three years but I hope we are here for 100 years.”

Damiani has long expressed a desire to keep the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, revealing back in June that a breakthrough in negotiations came around the Monaco weekend in May.

While Imola has enjoyed significant upgrades since it last hosted F1 back in 2006, Monza’s contract extension is likely to be very well received throughout the paddock given its history and high-speed nature.

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.