Juan Manuel Correa completed a landmark comeback to the FIA Formula 2 Championship after returning to the series for the first time since 2019 in Abu Dhabi.
The American-Ecuadorian racer joined forces with Van Amersfoort Racing for the 2022 finale and quickly got acclimatised to F2 machinery, despite completing little testing beforehand.
In the sole practice session of the weekend, Correa set the 14th-fastest time and went on to qualify 17th for both races at the Yas Marina Circuit.
He made steady progress over the course of Saturday’s Sprint Race, and successfully avoided an incident between Enzo Fittipaldi and Jehan Daruvala to move up to 14th on the first lap.
After red flag period due to barrier repairs, the race was resumed on lap three, and Correa held position as he continued to build momentum and mileage in the Dallara F2 2018 car.
In the closing stages, Correa came under pressure from MP Motorsport’s Clement Novalak and finished 15th at the flag after being overtaken by the French driver.
Correa continued to make progress in Sunday’s longer Feature Race but made light contact with Ralph Boschung on the opening lap which relegated him to 21st.
By quickly rallying his efforts, however, the 23-year-old made quick progress and moved up to 19th by overtaking both Tatiana Calderon and Ollie Caldwell on lap two.
As various strategies unfolded throughout the race, Correa climbed the order but returned to 20th upon boxing after running long into the race.
After a short battle with Novalak and Marino Sato, he moved forward to 19th and finished 17th following a pair of late retirements for Jack Doohan and Theo Pourchaire.
“We finished the weekend in Abu Dhabi. Incredible to be back in F2. It was very tough as we expected but there were a lot of positives for us to take from the weekend,” he said.
“Of course, I would have loved to score a point and to have been a bit further up but at the end of the race I got pushed off in Turn One, turned back almost to last and then had to try to get back.
“It was not easy, there were a lot of DRS trains, and we still need to work. Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how everything went, I’m happy with the work with the team and getting to know who they are has been a true pleasure.”