F3: Juan Manuel Correa’s emotional return to the podium

Zandvoort 2022 F3 Spring Podium
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Three years since that fatal day during the Belgian Grand Prix, Juan Manuel Correa made an emotional return to the podium.

In 2019, Anthoine Hubert and Juan Manuel Correa were involved in a horrific crash during the Formula 2 Feature Race at the Belgian Grand Prix. Due to the increase in safety measures when it came to the sport, no one predicted the outcome. Hubert suffered traumatic injuries that took his life, the first driver since Aryton Senna to die during a race weekend. Correa also suffered traumatic injuries in which he shattered both his legs and suffered organ failure.

Following a four-day stay in Intensive Care at a Belgium hospital, he was transferred to a hospital in London where he was placed in a coma for a month. Once awake Correa indulged in a lengthy period of rehabilitation. After regaining mobility in his legs Correa made the brave decision to return to racing and would compete in the Formula 3 2021 campaign driving for ART Grand Prix.

Returning to racing after suffering horrific injuries is no easy feat to achieve, no one was and is expecting Correa to be at full form. In 2021, he was partnered alongside Frederick Vesti and Alex Smolyer, he scored points during the second race of the season and would go on to finish 21st in the standings with 11 points.

A Return to Form in 2022

Retaining his seat for the 2022 season, Correa’s results would improve as he made further strides in his rehabilitation. He started the season with an impressive P4 during the Feature Race at the Bahrain Grand Prix and has continued to score points regularly throughout the season.

Following the return to racing after the summer break this season, Correa started P2 for the Sprint Race at the Belgian Grand Prix but was forced to retire after he and Zak O’Sullivan made contact. This weekend, during the Dutch Grand Prix, Correa qualified P12 for the Feature Race which meant pole for the Sprint Race.

Despite making a decent start he was overtaken for the lead on lap 6 by Ciao Collet. However, Correa managed to maintain his P2 position and made his first trip to the podium since 2019.

Featured Image Credit: Formula Motorsport Limited