Hamilton happy with Singapore podium at end of ‘tricky’ weekend

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Lewis Hamilton felt glad to have finished on the podium in Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix despite giving up the lead of the Formula 1 drivers’ championship to Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton started third in Singapore and dropped behind Kimi Raikkonen during the second stint of the race as he struggled for pace on the soft tire.

Mercedes opted to change Hamilton’s strategy mid-race, bringing him in for a third stop late on to put pressure on Ferrari ahead.

Raikkonen was pulled in one lap later, only to emerge from the pits behind the Briton, allowing Hamilton to take third place behind Rosberg and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.

“First of all big congratulations to Nico. He drove fantastically well all weekend and fully deserved the win,” Hamilton said on the podium after the race.

“Very tough day today, but as always it is in Singapore. This weekend’s just been a bit of a tricky one for me. I’m so glad I could get back up on the podium and get some points for the team.”

Hamilton was unable to push in the early part of the race due to a minor brake issue that prompted Mercedes to warn him on a number of occasions about his pace.

“It was my brakes, I was struggling with my brakes which were overheating, so I had to slow down and watch the other guys pull away,” Hamilton said.

“We were looking at different ways to try and get them back under control. In the end once I did my second stop or third stop, my brakes were under control. Of course towards the end I got a bit of heat in them.

“I’ve got a lot of support out there this weekend and I just want to say thanks to everyone who came out. We’ll keep pushing.”

Rosberg’s victory saw him take the lead of the drivers’ championship for the first time since the British Grand Prix in the middle of July, demoting Hamilton back into second place.

“It’s a lot different to when I was here last year,” Hamilton said, reflecting on his 41-point lead following Singapore in 2015.

“All in all, with all that has gone on this year, I’m still in the fight but still a long way to go.

“I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.”

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.