Juan Manuel Correa will return to racing in 2021, less than two years since the Formula 2 crash that left him in a coma with severe leg and spinal injuries.
The American-Ecuadorian will join ART Grand Prix in the FIA Formula 3 Championship, which replaced the GP3 series Correa raced in for a season-and-a-half before stepping up to F2 in 2019.
His time in F2 with Charouz Racing System included two podiums before the horrific crash at Spa-Francorchamps that took the life of Anthoine Hubert and left Correa unable to stand for several months and in rehabilitation for a year.
“First of all, I’m extremely happy to be back after what I’ve been through,” Correa said.
“I am super thankful to ART Grand Prix; it means a lot to me that they’re believing in me and my comeback.
“F3 is a transition year, my dream is still to reach F1 and this is the first step in my comeback. My targets are a bit ahead of myself, because I still have to do a lot, I have not driven a car for a year-and-a-half and there is a big learning curve ahead.
“I’m entering this season with an open mind, I won’t put pressure on myself, I will do my best, I will do what I love and that’s already a victory.”
Correa was a race-winner in Italian Formula 4 before his first stint in GP3/F3, and also won races in the Toyota Racing Series.
“Since his horrendous accident in Spa, on August 30th 2019, Juan Manuel has been through a lot of phases, always fighting while keeping in mind that he did not want to give up on his dream to keep racing at the highest possible level,” ART GP’s president Sebastien Philippe commented.
“Juan Manuel is an example of bravery and tenacity and ART Grand Prix is proud to give him the opportunity to return to racing. Juan Manuel is extremely strong mentally, he is still fighting to be as fit as possible and he is hungry.
“Behind the wheel, his talent is immense, as shown by his achievements in go-karts and then his first few years in motorsport.
“We are keen to accompany Juan Manuel to resume his career and to help him climb the ladder once again. He will give the team the benefit of his talent and experience.”
Correa completes ART’s line-up alongside SMP Racing junior Alexander Smolyar and Mercedes-AMG F1 junior Frederik Vesti, who are both entering their second season in FIA F3.