Juan Manuel Correa, the American racing driver seriously injured in the 2019 crash that killed Frenchman Anthoine Hubert, will return to competition this season in Formula 3, he announced Monday.
The 21-year-old underwent a 17-hour operation and spent more than two weeks in an induced coma after he suffered severe leg fractures in an accident during the Formula 2 Grand Prix at Spa in Belgium almost 18 months ago.
He will make his comeback for the French-based ART Grand Prix team, with the first F3 race on the 2021 calendar at Barcelona on May 8.
"First of all, I'm extremely happy to be back after what I've been through," said Correa. "I am super thankful to ART Grand Prix; it means a lot to me that they're believing in me and my comeback."
The Ecuador-born racer, a development driver with Alfa Romeo before his terrifying accident, is hopeful of eventually making it to the sport's top level.
"F3 is a transition year, my dream is still to reach F1 and this is the first step in my comeback," he said.
"My targets are a bit ahead of myself, because I still have to do a lot, I have not driven a car for a year and a half and there is a big learning curve ahead.
"I'm entering this season with an open mind, I won't put pressure on myself, I will do my best, I will do what I love and that's already a victory."
After months in a wheelchair Correa, who risked having his right leg amputated, is now able to walk short distances without crutches.
"Juan Manuel is an example of bravery and tenacity and ART Grand Prix is proud to give him the opportunity to return to racing," said team boss Sebastien Philippe.
"Juan Manuel is extremely strong mentally, he is still fighting to be as fit as possible and he is hungry," he added.
"We are keen to accompany Juan Manuel to resume his career and to help him climb the ladder once again."