F1 2017 driver review: Antonio Giovinazzi

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Antonio Giovinazzi

Team: Sauber
Car No.: 36
Races: 2
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P12 (Australia)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 0
Championship Position: 22nd

Antonio Giovinazzi made his mark through 2016 by finishing as runner-up in the GP2 Series, leading to a reserve role with Ferrari and a place on its junior programme – but his Formula 1 debut still came about as a surprise.

After deputizing for the injured Pascal Wehrlein at Sauber in the opening pre-season test, Giovinazzi was benched again upon the German’s return for the second week of running in Barcelona, and only traveled to Australia to be on-hand as a precaution.

But when Wehrlein felt discomfort upon pushing the car at high speed in practice, Giovinazzi was drafted in for a shock F1 debut, entering qualifying with only an hour’s worth of practice running under his belt in the Sauber C36 car.

Giovinazzi put in a stellar display, though, nearly reaching Q2 – he would have had it not been for a mistake at the final corner – and enjoyed a solid race to finish an excellent 12th.

Giovinazzi was once again in action for the Chinese Grand Prix, but had a tougher weekend. A crash in qualifying was followed by a similar shunt in the race as he misjudged the damp conditions on the main straight, slamming his car into the wall.

It was a come-down for the Italian after such a strong debut, and proved to be his final start of the season as Wehrlein returned for Bahrain.

Despite Ferrari pushing for him to get a seat with Sauber for 2018, the team opted to keep Marcus Ericsson, leaving Giovinazzi to settle for a third driver role.

He may be waiting in the wings, but time is ticking for a chance to come along that would allow Giovinazzi to prove his quality.

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.