ART Grand Prix star Juan Manuel Correa has joined the Sauber Academy for the 2021 season, realigning himself with the team he represented back in 2019.

Correa was originally Alfa Romeo’s development driver in 2019 and tested Formula 1 machinery for the team as part of that role, running 62 laps at Le Castellet.

Correa returned to racing this season after recovering from a horrific crash in 2019 at Spa. Making his debut for ART in Barcelona, Correa earned one point with an impressive 10th place finish.

“It’s very special to be back with the Sauber Academy,” said Correa. “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.

“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.

“I am very grateful to ART and Sébastien Philippe, and of course to Fred Vasseur, for all the support he has given me, and to everyone else at Sauber, from Beat Zehnder to all those who have been absolutely amazing and so supportive since my accident and throughout my recovery. It’s an honour to be back with this team.”

Correa battling on track with Leclerc in Round 1 of the season at Barcelona
Correa battling on track with Leclerc in Round 1 of the season at Barcelona

Officially launched in 2020 in line with the Sauber Karting Team, the Sauber Academy is overseen by Alfa Romeo Racing team principal Frederic Vasseur and sporting director Beat Zehnder.

Last season, the academy helped ART Grand Prix driver Théo Pourchaire to second in the Formula 3 Championship, with the Frenchman then graduating into Formula 2.

Sauber Motorsport Sporting Director Zehnder added: “Juan Manuel always displayed skill and determination, but his remarkable comeback from injury is an inspiring story that shows all his strength and will power.

"We have nothing but sheer admiration for his tenacity and we are happy to help him, through the Sauber Academy programme, as he resumes his motorsport career.”