Rounding up the farewells ahead of this week’s Abu Dhabi GP

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The last Grand Prix of the year always means the end of several stints. So, heading into this week’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, here’s what is coming to an end and is possibly coming to an end at the end of the 2016 Formula 1 season:

  • The longest season in F1 history, at 21 Grands Prix.
  • Potentially, Lewis Hamilton’s run as World Champion after back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015.
  • Certainly, Felipe Massa’s F1 career and potentially, Jenson Button’s. Massa will make his 250th and final Grand Prix start this weekend in a career dating to 2002; Button will make his 305th start in a career that’s been even two years longer, since 2000.
  • The stints of Nico Hulkenberg (Force India), Kevin Magnussen (Renault), Esteban Gutierrez (Haas) and Esteban Ocon (Manor) at their respective teams. Hulkenberg’s been with Force India in 2012, then 2014 through 2016, while Magnussen, Gutierrez and Ocon will leave their current teams after one year apiece.
  • Scuderia Toro Rosso’s run with year-old Ferrari engines. The team will switch to Renault power units in 2017.
  • Pirelli’s 2016 specification tires, with newer, wider and bigger tires having been tested this summer and fall before coming into play for 2017.

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023


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.