A broken gearbox screw cost Correa’s first F3 win in Austria

Correa had taken the lead in Saturday’s sprint race at the Red Bull Ring from pole sitter Caio Collet before being forced to retire on lap five, with Jak Crawford taking the win after a move on Collet.

It was another “frustrating” moment for Correa, 22, in a disrupted season, having been forced to sit out the Imola round earlier in the season after suffering a stress fracture in his right foot in Bahrain.

Speaking to Autosport after the race, the American said a screw that held the gear actuator in place had broken, which is “extremely rare – never happened to me before and I think neither does the team.

Correa said: “Very frustrating, really sad, to be honest. The race started as I planned, I made the move on the first lap, the restart went well and everything was fine. passed so far.

“So quite a bitter taste in the mouth.”

He added: “So far it’s been the perfect race so that’s the positive I’ll take from that, but unfortunately in this sport what matters is what’s on the paper at the end. of the race.

“This year is not the first time that we have the pace, but we didn’t put the result in the standings and also for the championship to give what was maybe 10 or 11 points definitely burns.”

Correa started to struggle with pain in the injured foot again on Saturday, but hopes it will be manageable tomorrow.

ART Grand Prix, Arthur Leclerc, Prema Racing, Alexander Smolyar, MP Motorsport ” data-author=”Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images” data-custom=”false” data-src=”https://cdn-1.motorsport.com/images/mgl/YKEQ1310/s8/juan-manuel-correa-art-grand-p-1.jpg”>

Juan Manuel Correa, ART Grand Prix, Arthur Leclerc, Prema Racing, Alexander Smolyar, MP Motorsport

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport pictures

The Sauber Academy member says his season so far has been a “roller coaster”, but believes it has been the same in 2021 as he continues his recovery from a horrific accident at Spa in 2019.

Correa suffered serious leg injuries from the incident, which claimed the life of Anthoine Hubert, and was placed in an induced coma to help him recover from acute respiratory distress syndrome.

After a long period of rehabilitation, Correa gained enough mobility in his legs to return to racing and joined ART in F3 for the 2021 season, partnering Frederik Vesti and Alexander Smolyar.

Correa said: “It’s been a rollercoaster season, which is strange to say this year because last year was also a rollercoaster season with all the injuries and everything I had to go through.

“But this year I thought it was going to be smoother. It started with missing the first day of testing in Bahrain due to Covid.

“The race in Bahrain was quite positive and then the stress fracture happened. I missed all the tests between Bahrain and Imola, then I missed the race at Imola, then I missed all the tests in Barcelona, ​​then I came back to Barcelona with a decent weekend, all things considered.

“Silverstone was a bit written off for the whole team, a really bad weekend for us, and now this.

“To sum up, it’s definitely not the best season, but we’ve had pretty good pace in most places except Silverstone – I’d say it was our only weekend off this year, everywhere else we have had good potential.”

Correa said he feels optimistic for Sunday’s race, that he will start from 11th place, and thinks the points are “very much possible”.

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