Formula 1: Vettel on pole in Bahrain as Ferrari sweeps the front row

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Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel scored the pole for Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix in a front row lockout for Ferrari, as teammate Kimi Raikkonen qualified second and will flank Vettel at the head of the grid.

Vettel’s time of 1:27.958 was the only lap in the 1:27 bracket in Q3, bettering Raikkonen’s time by .143 seconds, and was the fastest lap ever turned around the Bahrain International Circuit.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas duo of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton were third and fourth, though Hamilton will get a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.

Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo was fifth, while Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly scored an impressive sixth, and Hamilton’s penalty means that Gasly will start fifth come Sunday’s race, an outstanding result for both Gasly and Toro Rosso.

The rest of the Top 10 from Q3 were Haas F1 Team’s Kevin Magnussen in seventh, Renault Sport F1 Team’s Nico Hulkenberg in eighth, Sahara Force India’s Esteban Ocon in ninth, and Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr. in tenth.

Of note: the lone incident of qualifying came during Q1, when Red Bull driver Max Verstappen crashed exiting Turn 2. Verstappen’s car broke loose, sending him spinning across the track and into the barriers, damaging the front wing and left-front suspension.

Though his Q1 time was good enough to advance him into Q2 – Verstappen was fourth at the time – his car was too damaged to continue, and he will start 15th.

Results are below. The Bahrain Grand Prix begins Sunday at 11:00 a.m. ET.

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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.