The F2 Report: Juan Manuel Correa confirmed for VAR in 2023

Dutch racing outfit Van Amersfoort Racing (VAR) confirmed Juan Manuel Correa for the upcoming 2023 Formula 2 season, marking a remarkable return to the Formula 1 feeder series for the American-Ecuadorian driver.

This confirms a full-time seat for Correa, who will be starting an entire season for the first time in four years. A horrific crash during the Feature race at Spa-Francorchamps in 2019, that killed Anthoine Hubert, could have very well also ended JM’s career prematurely, but the two-time podium sitter in the feeder series has worked himself back up to the stage where he proved his worth once before.

It has been a long and tough road to recovery for Correa, who had this to say about the exciting news: “Being back full-time in Formula 2 means more to me than most people can imagine… It is not just an achievement in itself to be on this grid, but it also is a realization of a goal that has been the epicenter of my efforts for the last three years, so it is a very emotional achievement.”

The American-Ecuadorian driver, who races under an American license, will be partnering alongside Dutchman Richard Verschoor, who was confirmed by VAR just five days prior. The team from the Netherlands will be looking to improve on their performance in 2022, where they ultimately ended up tenth in the Teams’ Standings out of 11 teams.

With two drivers experienced in F2, VAR will hope to move up the leaderboard next year. VAR CEO, Rob Niessink, appears to have high expectations for his team in 2023, stating: “You can imagine we are very eager to start the season in F2 and with the driver line-up we have, our staff is extremely motivated to progress at a high pace.

We are convinced that Juan Manuel and Richard will complement each other massively, both on and off the track, which we see as a strong asset.”

Juan Manuel and his incredible resilience

F.2 Spa, muore Hubert, Correa ferito alle gambe, gara annullata. I video del dramma - RMC Motori

Correa rose rapidly through the lower formulae on his way to the Formula 1 feeder series. He picked up impressive race victories in his first foray in open-wheel motorsport, landing three wins in the Italian F4 Championship in 2016. 2017 wasn’t quite as successful for the American driver, but 2018 saw a marked improvement in results, picking up regular points finishes in the GP3 Series and scoring two wins in the Toyota Racing Series.

The following calendar year was unfortunately cut short by his horror crash in Belgium, but Correa came mighty close to finishing first at both the Azerbaijan and France Sprint races.

He spent the next 18 months recovering from his extensive injuries, during which he had to relearn how to walk and perform all sorts of basic human tasks that many of us take for granted. The then 21-year old driver made a miraculous return to motorsport to commence the 2021 FIA Formula 3 Championship, and his raw racing talent has been returning to previous highs ever since.

Correa raced in the 14th and final round of the 2022 campaign in Abu Dhabi, also for Van Amersfoort Racing. With a couple races under his belt already, he will be looking to hit the ground running in the upcoming season, saying: “I am super grateful for the opportunity that Van Amersfoort Racing is giving me. I am very hungry, I am very motivated, and I know the team is as well.

“I am sure together we, the team and my teammate Richard, will make a great line-up and create a great working environment for everyone. We will be pushing each other to continuously improve, because we all want to do well this upcoming season.”

Niessink added: “We are excited to have Juan Manuel on board for our second season in the FIA F2. We have had many drivers in the past, but I have to say that the level of commitment that Juan Manuel shows is simply incredible. Besides that, his experience is valuable and will help to further develop both driver and team into the championship.”

With a determined driver looking to make a dream comeback and an equally hungry racing team looking to improve on their previous results, things look promising for VAR. How do you think Juan Manuel Correa will fare in 2023. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!