“The next two weeks will be crucial”

Juan Manuel Correa, how are you feeling before your first race of the season with Prema?

I am really impatient ! I’ve been waiting for this comment for a while. I was supposed to start the ELMS season several months ago, but my broken foot delayed my debut. Yesterday (Wednesday. Editor’s note), we did a lot of preparation. I have many things to learn. I have already driven an LM P2 before, but there are new elements to take into account during an Endurance race weekend, such as driver changes or strategies. Everything went well and I feel calmer before the race.

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When was the last time you got into LM P2?

It seems to me that it was in… (He thinks) January. So it goes back a while and since then I had only driven in Formula 3 (with ART Grand Prix). So I needed a few laps to find the right sensations. I found it to be a car I adapted to easily, even on my first test last December. I quickly felt at ease behind the wheel. It was the same feeling yesterday (during the private tests) and after a few laps I was already concentrating on managing traffic with the cars of the other categories, which is a first for me.

Is it complicated to adapt between the single-seater and the prototype?

In terms of riding style, it’s not that difficult. If a driver is efficient in single-seaters, he will also be efficient in LM P2. It’s similar in many ways. The complicated part is to learn all the procedures and to structure, analyze all the data that we can receive in endurance and which are different from single-seaters.

You start your season with Prema when the team is leading the championship and can be titled this weekend. Does this represent additional pressure for you?

In a way, yes. They have done a great job from the start. They lead the championship and they are favorites to win it. My main task this weekend will therefore be to do my job, to help them finish what they started. On the other hand, more than the pressure, I’m happy to be here. I hope we can win, bring my little stone to the building and celebrate with them. I couldn’t dream of a better team than Prema to make my debut.

You will be accompanied by two very fast team-mates this weekend, with Louis Delétraz and Ferdinand Habsburg. Have you exchanged with them during the season?

Yes, I tested with Louis in January. I have known him for several years. Ferdinand too, even though I’ve never ridden with him. Yesterday they were a great help to me. This is one of the main differences between single-seater and Endurance: in this discipline, the teammates try to help you, because you share the same car, while in the other, the teammates try to fight each other.

Lorenzo (Colombo, who replaced Juan Manuel Correa in the first four races. Editor’s note) also gave you some advice for this weekend?

We talked during the season, he was also at winter testing with us. We both come from Formula 3 so we learned LM P2 at the same time. So we have a fairly similar journey. He just told me to be relaxed, to have fun and everything will be fine! (Laughs)

In Zandvoort, you scored your first Formula 3 podium since your accident here. It was a very emotional moment for you, wasn’t it?

Yes, it meant a lot to me, but also to my team, my family and all the people who have supported me since the day of my accident, who have helped me get back into a race car and resume a career in motorsport. It was really special, I was very happy. My Formula 3 season was tougher than I had imagined, with the fracture and other unforeseen events, but it remains a positive year for me.

Is your future taking shape in single-seaters or in Endurance?

I do not know. We are at the moment when the decision must be made. The next two weeks will be crucial in this regard. All I can tell you is that I am seriously considering both options.

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