Juan Correa: From Surviving A Near-Fatal Crash To A Podium Return

Juan Manuel Correa is back on the F2 podium, but his journey after the accident with Antoine Hubert five years ago was not easy.

On June 23, 5 years after his last podium in Formula 2, Juan Manual Correa is back in one of the three top steps, with a third place in the Feature Race in Spain. An important moment for him and for everyone who knows the difficulties that the American driver faced from August 31 2019. That date will always be remembered by all motorsport fans who witnessed one of the most tragic episodes of modern Formula 1. That is the death of Antoine Hubert, after an accident in which Correa was also involved. From that day on, the young 24-year-old driver had to face many difficulties to finally get back to racing.

Leaving home to follow a dream

Since the beginning of his career, Juan Manuel Correa has always cultivated his passion for motorsport handed down to him by his family. Like many children of his age, he was passionate about speed so he started with karting.

From there he began to compete professionally between Ecuador and the United States. He won several titles such as the Rotax Max Challenge Junior Championship in 2014. Correa was noticed by several important figures in motorsport. At only 14 years old, he departed to Europe all by himself to develop his career, which was taking an important turn.

In 2016, he made his single-seater debut competing in both the ADAC Formula 4 and Italian Formula 4 Championship. He finished fourth in the Italian championship (with three victories) and tenth in the ADAC F4. Correa’s career continued to grow, signing a contract with Jenzer Motorsport for GB3. In his first season, he had some difficulties adapting to the car but still ended the championship with 42 points in P12.

Embed from Getty Images

2019 was a decisive year for Juan, both from a sporting and personal point of view. At the beginning of the year, he signed an agreement with the Sauber Junior Team by Charouz to drive in Formula 2. In the same year, he was chosen as Alfa Romeo’s development driver. In Paul Ricard, he drove for the first time a Formula 1 car.

His first F2 season did not start well but in Baku, the American-Ecuadorean managed to get his first points and podium in the Sprint Race. At Le Castellet, he got on the podium again alongside Anthoine Hubert. With him, he shared a tragic experience a month later.

Spa 2019: the accident and its consequences on Juan Manuel Correa

On 31 August 2019, the lights went off and the F2 Feature Race began at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. When the drivers arrived at one of the fastest parts of the circuit, Giuliano Alesi lost control of his car and crashed into the barriers. Behind him, many drivers tried to avoid the site and among them, there was Antoine Hubert. Hubert also lost control of the car and crashed, at about 280 k/h, into the barriers. Unfortunately, Correa, carrying damage in his car, lost control of the vehicle and hit Hubert. Anthoine Hubert lost his life and that day saw one of the saddest pages in motorsport.

The first memory of Correa after the incident was the strong pain in his legs. While his car was upside down, he had to crawl away from under it. Once transported to the hospital, he also had respiratory problems. Therefore, the doctors decided to put him in an induced coma. They managed to operate on the young driver, who risked losing his right leg.

From that moment the rehabilitation path for Juan Manuel Correa has been hard. He had to fight the pain every day to return to walking. So, after many sacrifices, efforts, and a lot of willpower, in 2021 the American-Ecuadorian driver made his racing comeback in the Formula 3 championship. In 2023, he returned full-time to Formula 2. His career did not stop at single-seaters. He also raced in endurance, where he took part in ELMS and WEC in the LMP series.

On the podium 5 years later

Many things have changed since 2019. He has said many times that he will never be the same person again after that incident. It made him change his entire perspective on life. Immediately, Correa tried to be as independent as possible. The young driver showed resilience during the rehabilitation, and this also accelerated his recovery path. His strength led him to return to race in the championship he had left 4 years before.

This year, the American driver had some difficulties in finding the right performance. However, in the last few races he has made a step forward. In the Sprint Race in Spain, he lost the podium due to track limits. Nevertheless, on Sunday he showed all his talent. With an excellent strategy and a show of strength, he managed to capitalize on the best result possible. A podium which repaid, in part, the efforts Correa made in recent years. From the moment he was in the hospital, he promised not to give up on his return in a Formula 2 car.


More Posts

The Power Shift At Mercedes

There have been sabotage rumours surrounding Mercedes in relation to Lewis Hamilton. There was also an anonymous email sent with the claims. Mercedes have since

Send Us A Message