Report: Apple in talks with McLaren over takeover

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Technology giant Apple is in talks with McLaren Technology Group over a possible takeover, according to a report from the Financial Times.

Apple has been angling to make a move into the automotive sphere for some time, and was linked with acquiring Formula 1 before Liberty Media takeover plans were confirmed earlier this month.

However, Apple may yet still become involved in F1 via McLaren, the company being made up of its racing team, its supercar production arm McLaren Automotive, and McLaren Applied Technologies.

The British team currently sits sixth in the F1 constructors’ championship as its rebuilding process continues following a split with previous engine supplier Mercedes at the end of 2014.

The report from the Financial Times claims that talks between Apple and McLaren have been ongoing for many months, with the American technology company privately developing its own self-driving electric vehicle.

Should the deal go ahead, the report estimates McLaren would be valued between $1.2 billion and $1.9 billion, making it Apple’s biggest acquisition since its purchase of Beats for $3 billion in 2014.

NBC Sports understands that Apple’s push to become involved in F1 did go beyond preliminary talks, with the company conducting due diligence earlier this year ahead of a possible deal.

UPDATE 13:02 ET – McLAREN DENIES APPLE TALKS

When contacted for comment by NBC Sports, a McLaren spokesman said: “We can confirm that McLaren is not in discussion with Apple in respect of any potential investment.

“As you would expect, the nature of our brand means we regularly have confidential conversations with a wide range of parties, but we keep them confidential.”

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.