Stroll’s roll to F3 European title ends with three more wins

Photo: Lance Stroll Racing
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Lance Stroll’s roll through the 2016 FIA Formula 3 European Championship continued through this weekend’s season finale at the Hockenheimring, at the same track where DTM and Audi TT Cup also wrapped their seasons.

The Montreal-born driver won his 12th, 13th and 14th races of the season for Prema Powerteam, and capped off his campaign with a title victory margin of more than 180 points over his nearest rival, Maximilian Günther. Admittedly, this wasn’t the strongest year for the championship – Felix Rosenqvist and Esteban Ocon have won the previous two FIA F3 titles in deeper fields.

“It’s been an amazing season and to score another three wins to sign off from the F3 category is awesome,” Stroll said via a media release. “It’s taken all year but I finally got the triple win over the weekend. I’ve definitely had a good time this weekend and that was my goal.”

Stroll, a Williams development driver, looks set to secure a Williams Martini Racing race seat in 2017. However, with Stroll only 17 years old and under 18, it appears they’ll wait to name him until after he would turn 18 on October 29, per Motorsport.com, owing to the alcohol complications in place.

Stroll told NBC Sports earlier this year he was keen on moving up next year, with F1, GP2 or IndyCar possible options.

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.