Juan Manuel Correa has returned to the cockpit of a single-seater race car for the first time since his crash at Spa-Francorchamps in August, 2019.
The accident saw Correa suffer major injuries to his legs in the Formula 2 Sprint Race in Belgium, while it claimed the life of Anthoine Hubert.
Correa’s recovery was hit by complications, with the Ecuadorian-born driver being briefly placed into an induced coma in an intensive care unit after being diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in the weeks following the crash.
After awakening and undergoing multiple surgeries, Correa continued his recovery and announced earlier this month that he would make a comeback to racing in 2021, signing a deal with race with ART Grand Prix in Formula 3.
His on-track preparations began at the Circuit Paul Ricard on Monday, February 15, where he drove an old-spec GP3 car around the French circuit.
“533 days after Spa, I have gotten back, for the first time, behind the wheel of a formula car,” Correa wrote on social media.
“It’s hard to describe with words what this means to me. All I can say is thank you to all of you who have supported me up to this point. Antoine Hubert was with me today.”
The 2021 F3 Championship is scheduled to commence in Barcelona this May, alongside F1’s Spanish Grand Prix weekend.
Correa will partner Mercedes junior Frederik Vesti and Russian Aleksandr Smolyar at ART for the upcoming campaign.
The 21-year-old spoke about his desire to return to racing, stating it was a “no-brainer” to work out a deal with ART, who won six Teams’ Championships in GP3 from 2010 to 2018.