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Back in the car “physically harder than expected,” says Correa

Juan Manuel Correa of United States and ART Grand Prix prepares to drive during Day One of Formula 3 Testing at Red Bull Ring on April 03, 2021 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Simon Hofmann – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

Juan Manuel Correa is back in Formula 3 after two years away due to his accident at the Formula 2 feature race in Spa-Francorchamps, in which he suffered serious leg injuries.

The Ecuadorian-American racing driver came back behind the wheel in Formula 3 and spoke with the media regarding his comeback after pre-season testing in Austria.

“The first feelings were really good,” said Correa. “I could immediately feel that it is quite similar to how the F2 car drivers – it has quite a lot of downforce. I think that throughout the two days I was actually a bit closer to the pace than I was expecting to be, so that was positive, although there are still quite a lot of things to work on.

“We did some tests, which we were not expecting to do because we thought that it would take a bit longer for me to get back into rhythm with the car and learn the car. But we have already been able to make some changes to the car because my feedback was pretty good.”

Correa admitted that the test was “physically harder” than he expected, something that showcases the ruthless reality after his accident back in 2019.

“This was always going to be a big challenge, especially with the physical limitations that I have,” he said. “I think that it was [physically] harder than I expected, but it took me less time to get on the pace than I imagined and that’s why I’m so positive overall.

“The main places where I was losing time were due to my physical limitations more than anything, which starts to get frustrating because there is time here, but you can’t do anything about it. That’s not easy. I was losing at least three tenths a lap due to not being able to brake properly in the big braking zones.

“I don’t think that I will be 100% for the first race, but that’s something that I’ll have to deal with and manage. It is just one more challenge and after everything that I have accomplished and done in this last year and a half, this is a small challenge compares to the other challenges that I have faced.”

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