Juan Manuel Correa is attending this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix as he seeks closure after the Formula 2 accident there that cost Anthoine Hubert his life, and says he is targeting a return to racing next season from his own serious injuries.
Hubert was killed early in the F2 feature race at Spa-Francorchamps last year, when his already damaged car was struck at high speed by Correa as part of a multi-car incident at Raidillon. The Ecuadorian-American spent a number of weeks in a coma after suffering multiple fractures of his legs and feet as well as lung problems, but is now continuing his rehabilitation at a training facility in Europe and accepted an invitation to attend this weekend’s race at Spa.
“It’s one year since the crash happened,” Correa said during an F2 Instagram Live. “I felt there was a way for me to kind of close a chapter, but more importantly to pay my tribute to Anthoine, I haven’t been able to do so properly from Miami.
“I just felt like coming out this weekend, I got the invitation from F2 and I took it in a heartbeat. I’m really happy to be here, happy to see everyone in the paddock again, but it will also be a very sad and emotional weekend for me.”
While facing the immediate difficulty of navigating this weekend, Correa has a more positive outlook when it comes to a potential return to racing in F2 as early as next season.
“It’s going quite well. I’ve been recovering quite quickly. I’ve been pushing a lot with that racer mindset of always doing more than necessary. It’s worked out well. I’m actually looking for a comeback next year, so earlier than we thought initially, but it’s looking good.
“I have still quite a few surgeries left to go but the whole metal thing around my leg should be gone at the end of this year, which means I can jump in a car maybe as early as December.”
Correa spent part of Thursday at Spa doing a lap of the track by wheelchair, joining a number of other members of the F2 paddock in visiting the spot where last year’s accident happened. AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly also visited the site and laid flowers in tribute to his close friend.