Juan Manuel Correa has announced he will be making his Formula 2 return in Abu Dhabi three years after the life-changing events at Spa.
The twenty-three-year-old American-Ecuadorian driver has announced that he’ll be replacing David Beckmann for Vans Amersfoort Racing. Juan Manuel Correa will be the second F3 driver racing at Abu Dhabi following Zane Maloney’s announcement by Trident.
Correa’s Life-changing Incident
In 2019, Correa was announced as a driver for Charouz Racing alongside Callum Ilott and Matevos Isaakyan. He had finished 12th in the 2018 GP3 championship the season before. That same year he was also announced as a development driver for Alfa Romeo. Despite a tricky season, Correa was able to secure two second-place finishes at the Azerbaijan and French Grand Prix. He returned from the summer break thirteenth in the championship.
Starting P15 for the Feature Race at the Belgian Grand Prix, Correa had managed to improve his position to 14th before a sequence of events caused a collision with Anthoine Hubert (who was 12th at the time) at Eau Rouge. The race would be red-flagged and would be canceled along with the Sprint Race.
The results of the collision would fatally wound Hubert, who was pronounced deceased later on that day. The incident left Correa with multiple injuries, including organ failure, and to eventually be placed into a medically induced coma. Following two years of recuperation, Correa decided to return to racing and would participate in the 2021 and 2022 Formula 3 championship, picking up his maiden podium at Zandvoort earlier this year.
🚨F2 DRIVER ANNOUNCEMENT!🚨
We are excited to announce Juan Manuel Correa’s return to the F2 grid! Taking the wheel of our #24 car, he will join his VAR teammate Amaury Cordeel for the final round of the FIA F2 Championship, taking place this weekend at the Yas Marina Circuit. pic.twitter.com/03ObAiJvl0
— Van Amersfoort Racing (@VARmotorsport) November 17, 2022
When announced, Correa stated:
“It’s very exciting. It feels a bit strange to be back here, but it feels good because it has been my goal to be back in F2 since I came back to racing,” he said of the comeback. “I know I haven’t driven this car in a long time, but I’ve always felt relatively comfortable in an F2 car. I’m ready for the challenge.“
Beckmann’s absence in the finale is due to financial reasons. Correa’s move to Vans Amersfoort will see his return to F2 for the first time since that day. With Correa looking for a permanent return for the 2023 season, this will be a huge opportunity to impress the Formula 2 grid.