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Correa set for racing return after "excruciatingly long and painful" recovery

Correa set for racing return after "excruciatingly long and painful" recovery

F1 News

Correa set for racing return after "excruciatingly long and painful" recovery

Correa set for racing return after "excruciatingly long and painful" recovery

Juan Manuel Correa has set the ambitious target of scoring podiums and wins as he prepares to return to racing for the first time since sustaining severe injuries in the 2019 crash that cost Anthoine Hubert his life.

Former F2 driver Correa will resume his racing career in F3 at the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend after completing an "excruciatingly long and painful" recovery.

Following the incident at the start of the F2 feature race at the Belgian Grand Prix, Correa initially spent two weeks in a coma and subsequently required 26 surgeries for injuries to his lungs, spine and legs.

Despite his time out of the seat, Correa remains ambitious with his targets for the coming season.

"My goals for this season are firstly to get back up to speed, to find myself as a driver like I was in 2019 and be the old me again," said Correa to formula1.com.

"I don't have huge expectations, especially for the beginning of the season but I am definitely a very competitive guy and I know I will be aiming for podiums and wins and I'm pretty confident we can get there with some work."

Explaining the journey to resume his career, Correa added: "I've had to do a lot of rehab just to be able to stand up and walk a little bit, so not to mention driving a car. The brake pedal is very stiff so I have had to work a lot on that.

"Initially, I thought we would have to modify the throttle pedal because obviously, I lost most of my mobility on the right ankle but actually I did a private test a few months ago and I am just able to press it so that is great.

"The private test was, in a way, a big relief because going into that test we literally did not know if I was going to be able to drive. Everyone was just holding their breath so when I did the first lap, I thought 'Okay, it is possible'.

"But then it also brought many concerns for me personally because all of a sudden it really hit me how hard this comeback is going to be, just to get back into the rhythm of the car and feel confident again.

"I had the feeling in my mind of 2019 where everything came very easy to me and I felt super-natural inside the car and all of a sudden I found myself really struggling to get to the pace.

"It was a bit worrying. I was not expecting it to be so hard but eventually, the progress started to come and it came very quickly throughout the days of testing that we did."

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