Juan Manuel Correa says IndyCar and IMSA are both on his radar for 2022 as he continues his comeback from injury and weighs up his future.
The American-Ecuadorian is racing in Formula 3 this year as he continues his rehabilitation from severe injuries suffered in the 2019 Formula 2 crash that claimed the life of Anthoine Hubert at Spa-Francorchamps. While F3 allows him to work on his recovery as well as regain racing sharpness, Correa (pictured above today in Hungary) says he’s looking to move further up in 2022, with IndyCar one clear possibility if he doesn’t return to F2.
“I definitely see myself stepping up,” Correa told select media including RACER. “Not Formula 3. F2 is definitely on the table, maybe even going to America — we’re considering all options at the moment. But definitely a step up and a new challenge.
“I’m looking at IndyCar. Indy Lights is also an option, but it’s a bit too early to tell you which way we would go. Maybe also doing it in conjunction with a few IMSA rounds — we have some contacts there. For me if it has four wheels, it has downforce and it’s fast then I’ll be happy; but IndyCar is a category that I follow quite a bit, it makes for great racing, so I think that’s kind of the direction we’ve been looking at.”
Correa chose to return in F3 due to the timing of the calendar, with a much later start than this year’s F2 season allowing him more time to focus on rehab. He says that choice is starting to pay off from a physical point of view as he moves away from a specially adapted brake pump with larger pedal in order to get the required pressure through the system with his injuries.
“Slowly, we’ve been shifting the scale. In the beginning of the season I would say it was probably 80% rehab to 20% race preparation and race fitness,” he related. “Now I’d say we’re at maybe 60% race preparation/fitness and 40% rehab, so it’s still a pretty big chunk that we have to focus on rehab and it will continue to be that way, I’m guessing, until the end of the season at least.
“But slowly I am definitely feeling more like a racing driver. (In) fitness but also in how much energy I’m using outside the track. It’s a big thing when you have these long breaks and normally you’d like to disconnect a bit and think only about the racing. I haven’t had a single week to disconnect since I’ve started, but slowly we’re getting there.
“I think the main points we need to work at is the legs — especially the left with the braking. This is going to be my first weekend using the normal brake pump, so it’s going to be interesting to see how that goes, but I’m sure it’s not going to be easy. Also this (Hungaroring) track is physical. So slowly we’re shifting the scale back to where I want it to be.
“This year for me, this season, is important but even more important for me is to get a good rehab and prepare myself for next season, because that’s really my proper comeback. So we want to get the results, do as best as we can, but we are not trying to sacrifice anything on the rehab side of things as well.”