Home Featured Correa “a joy” within VAR’s F2 team and “an example for younger drivers”

Correa “a joy” within VAR’s F2 team and “an example for younger drivers”

by Ida Wood

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Van Amersfoort Racing team boss Frits van Amersfoort has praised Juan Manuel Correa’s racing comeback and that he can be “an example for younger drivers”.

Correa spent two years in Formula 4, then one-and-a-half in GP3 before stepping up to Formula 2 in 2019. His racing career almost came to an end that year when a crash at Spa-Francorchamps broke both his legs and also injured his spine.

The crash claimed the life of Anthoine Hubert, and left Correa unable to drive again until 2021 when he made a return to the cockpit in FIA Formula 3. During his recovery period he was diagnosed with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and put in an induced coma. Once he exited that coma, he had complex surgeries – one lasting 17 hours – that avoided the need for amputation.

Correa claimed one podium and two other top-five finishes from his two seasons in FIA F3 with ART Grand Prix, missing one round due to a metatarsal fracture, and he also did two European Le Mans Series rounds with Prema in a LMP2 car. He won the 2022 Portimao 4 Hours and came seventh in the ELMS standings.

At the end of the year he returned to F2 by contesting the season finale with VAR, then signed to race full-time for the team in 2023. He has a best result of fourth from the first 16 races of the campaign, and has also made a return to Prema’s LMP2 car with two World Endurance Championship outings.

“I think he’s doing great,” Van Amersfoort said of Correa’s F2 comeback. “We know what he’s been through. JM is really a guy I admire. He has had a terrible accident, he survived. Mentally, he got over it, or at least he had to deal with it.

“And he’s a joy in the team, and he’s a lovely guy to work with. He’s positive. You see he is in pain sometimes. You see that his legs are not completely healed. They probably won’t heal completely. So I think it’s really wonderful how he’s coping and how he attacks again, the car and the circuit.

“He’s a joy in the team and I think he’s an example for, let’s say, the more younger drivers on how to deal mentally with big troubles in racing. And lots of young drivers can learn something from him.”