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Formula 1

Correa renews Alfa Romeo F1 ties with Sauber junior role

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
2 min read

The Sauber team that runs Alfa Romeo’s Formula 1 outfit has brought Juan Manuel Correa back into its driver development programme for 2021.

Correa’s previous role as a Sauber protege had got him a debut F1 test with Alfa Romeo just days before the 2019 Spa-Francorchamps Formula 2 accident that left the Ecuadorian-American with horrific leg injuries and claimed the life of fellow racer Anthoine Hubert.

After an arduous recovery process, Correa – who earlier in his career was also a Lotus F1 junior – has returned to the F1 ladder this year by taking up an ART Grand Prix seat in Formula 3. He placed in the top 15 in all three races of the Barcelona season-opener in early May.

However, it is understood that Correa’s return to the Sauber fold was not contingent on a competitive first F3 outing, and was rather the result of a long discussion that started well before the season began.

Juan Manuel Correa ART Barcelona F3 2021

“It’s very special to be back with the Sauber Academy: they’re the junior programme of the team I was with in 2019, when I had my first and only F1 test, and it’s a great feeling to be working with them again,” Correa said.

“I am very excited to show the Academy’s branding on my car and my helmet already from this weekend in France and I am looking forward to helping the team whenever needed, be it in the sim or elsewhere.”

The Sauber Group has described Correa’s recovery from injuries as “nothing short of miraculous”.

“Juan Manuel always displayed skill and determination, but his remarkable comeback from injury is an inspiring story that shows all his strength and willpower,” said Sauber’s sporting director Beat Zehnder.

Correa’s duties will echo those of a typical F1 development driver, and should entail simulator work in addition to focused training and working with engineers.

Sauber’s academy was launched back in 2020, complementing its F1 presence and expansive karting programme.

It boasts amid its ranks one of the hottest properties on the junior ladder in Theo Pourchaire, who is currently sixth in the standings in his rookie F2 campaign.

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