Correa confident of fighting for top positions in F3 comeback

Juan Manuel Correa believes he can be "fighting for top positions” this year after leaving last weekend’s Formula 3 pre-season test “very satisfied” with his sensational comeback to date.

Correa confident of fighting for top positions in F3 comeback

The 21-year-old American driver contested his first competitive motorsport session since surviving a tragic multiple car Formula 2 crash at Spa in 2019 that claimed the life of Anthoine Hubert.

The two-day test at the Red Bull Ring was a significant milestone for Correa, who has been on a long road to recovery, that has included more than 20 operations on his legs, while being confined to a wheelchair for more than a year.

Prior to the test, Correa enjoyed an outing in a F3 car at Paul Ricard, however this latest test was the first time he was able to measure himself against his 29 F3 rivals this year.

The ART Grand Prix driver impressed posting a lap good enough for 18th on combined times from the two days, only 0.5s shy of outright pacesetter Caio Collet. In Sunday’s morning session Correa was only three tenths adrift of the pace.

Read Also:

The performance has given him the confidence he can be competitive this season, with more pace to come as his recovery continues.

“The times in F3 are very tight,” said Correa.

“I finished the last day with the 18th time combining the two days, with a record of 1.19.189s to 0.587 of the best record of the two days, which Collet achieved, which on the one hand leaves me very satisfied to be my first shot of contact with the car that I am going to drive this year and for another it leaves me with that flavour that it could have gone better.

“Braking is where I lose a lot of time, and that has to make me happy, because we know where to improve.

“It is a pressure problem when braking. I have to exert more force, but that is gained with the recovery that I am carrying out.

“It would have been something else if time wasted in what is driving, but I think that in that aspect I am still the same as when I left it and that gives me a lot of confidence.

“Today Collet broke the track record in F3 and without brake problems I know that I am there fighting for the top positions and that is very important for my morale.

“I was sure I would be able to drive at the best level, but until I am inside the car you don't see reality and the team is very happy because they see that it is possible to be among the best.

“In fact, the three drivers of the team, [Frederik] Vesti, [Alexandr] Smolyar and I are separated by three tenths which means that we will be one of the strongest teams in the championship.”

Reflecting on the test, Correa says the strong showing has given him more desire to achieve the ultimate goal of progressing to Formula 1.

Despite those lofty targets, he remains circumspect and admits that being able to fight for the F3 title this year is a blessing.

“The ability to fight for the title in F3 is the greatest thing that has happened to me,” he added.

“I am leaving very satisfied and with much more desire to continue preparing to achieve my goal.

“Without a doubt being in F1 and being able to dedicate to Anthoine some good performances, and who knows if a podium or a victory would be like a joint victory for which I will fight to the point of exhaustion.

“I know that the road is long, but in these tests I have started my career as a driver again.”

Correa’s F3 comeback will continue with another two-day pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya on April 21-22, prior to the championship opener at the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix on May 7-9.

shares
comments
Alpine F1 junior Collet tops Austria F3 pre-season test
Previous article

Alpine F1 junior Collet tops Austria F3 pre-season test

Next article

Martins tops first day of FIA F3 testing at Barcelona

Martins tops first day of FIA F3 testing at Barcelona
Load comments
From zero to hero: How F3's 2021 champion bounced back Prime

From zero to hero: How F3's 2021 champion bounced back

After a disastrous 2020 in FIA Formula 3 with Hitech, Dennis Hauger began to doubt himself - with the self-belief he had built through success in junior series evaporating. But after regrouping, he stormed to the F3 title in 2021. Here’s how he did it...

FIA F3
Oct 7, 2021
How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss Prime

How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss

After the sudden death of its founder in January, Formula 2 stalwart Campos Racing was left facing its hardest season to date. But new team boss Adrian Jr is determined to honour his father’s legacy and has returned the team to its winning ways

FIA F2
Sep 20, 2021
How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived Prime

How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived

After a chaotic 2020, marred by the coronavirus pandemic, the FIA brought in radical changes to Formula 2 and 3. But less than 12 months later, there are talks of them being reversed after all did not go to plan…

FIA F2
Sep 9, 2021
How the latest 'son of' youngster found his feet in F3 Prime

How the latest 'son of' youngster found his feet in F3

After a promising start to his single-seater racing career, life in the Formula 1 feeder series gave Jack Doohan a reality check. But, following a year of learning and toiling, the driver with one of the most famous surnames on the Formula 3 grid isn’t feeling the weight of expectation pushing down too hard on him any longer

FIA F3
Jun 30, 2021
The Monaco win that started another triple crown Prime

The Monaco win that started another triple crown

30 years ago, victory in the Monaco Grand Prix-supporting Formula 3 race – then a showpiece invitational event – began a young Jorg Muller’s pursuit of a unique set of street circuit wins that he’d later complete at Macau and Pau.

FIA F3
May 21, 2021
Why Correa's return is the feel-good story racing needed Prime

Why Correa's return is the feel-good story racing needed

Juan Manuel Correa has had a long road to recovery from that horrific day at Spa in 2019. ART's decision to give him his race return in FIA Formula 3 in 2021 is a victory in itself, but his determination will surely - in time - have him fighting for bigger things

FIA F3
Feb 2, 2021
Why Piastri's F3 title was better than results suggested Prime

Why Piastri's F3 title was better than results suggested

F3 rookie Oscar Piastri only just snatched the 2020 title with Prema Racing, but the setbacks he overcame to do so suggest that Renault's next Australian talent is one destined for the top.

FIA F3
Jan 12, 2021
The young driver Red Bull couldn't ignore Prime

The young driver Red Bull couldn't ignore

Igor Fraga has a more colourful career behind him than any other driver on the FIA Formula 3 grid, and now he's beginning to become as recognised for his talents in real racing as in the virtual world.

FIA F3
Jun 21, 2020