Returning to a track that holds happy memories, Juan Manuel Correa is readying himself for the challenge of racing around the streets of Baku once again at the end of the month.
Before Round 4 gets underway, we got to know the Van Amersfoort Racing driver a bit better. From teaming up with an old friend and rival to ticking one place off his bucket list last time out, the American racer gives us the lowdown – including why he needs to double check his calendar before posting on social media.
WHERE DO YOU CONSIDER HOME?
“Somewhere between Miami and Quito, Ecuador. So, I grew up in Quito for the first 10 years of my life and then in Miami. My family lives in Miami at the moment, so I would say more Miami because my family is there right now.”
OUTSIDE OF MOTORSPORT, WHICH SPORTSPERSON DO YOU ADMIRE?
“I think Cristiano Ronaldo. I’m not a big football fan, but I think his work ethic is very impressive.”
WHO ARE YOU FRIENDS WITH ON THE GRID?
“I’m friends with a few guys. I think this year, one of my better friends is probably Richard (Verschoor), who’s also my teammate. We have been racing against each other for many years.
“He’s a quick driver, definitely a tough opponent, but a very nice guy outside of the track. Also, he’s quite a mature and smart guy who you can have a nice conversation with, and he works very hard, so he’s a good teammate to have.”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHEAT MEAL?
“Pasta carbonara – but a proper one with no cream, just the egg and the cheese.”
IF YOU COULD GO BACK TO ANY MOMENT IN YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
“Maybe I’d go back to my first podium in F2, which was in Baku in 2019. That was a pretty special moment, it seems like a long time ago now. I think it’s just pretty crazy because back then I didn’t realise how young and inexperienced I was in many ways, so I feel that if I could achieve that back then, I can do much better things now with where I am.”
IF YOU WEREN’T A DRIVER, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
“Either a different sport professionally because I’m very sporty and competitive or business. I come from a business-minded family, and I do enjoy business as well. I used to play a lot of tennis when I was a kid.”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE AND TV SERIES?
“Favourite movie - either The Big Short or The Wolf of Wall Street. My favourite TV series lately it’s been Ted Lasso, it’s fantastic! It’s really good, very funny and very heart-warming serious.”
WHAT WAS THE LAST SONG YOU LISTENED TO?
“The last song I listened to was in the car. Let me open my Spotify – it was Die For You by The Weekend, very romantic.”
FUNNIEST OR MOST EMBARASSING THING YOU’VE EVER DONE?
“Last year it was Veteran’s Day in the USA, and I had a brain fart. I posted on my story 'Happy 4th of July' and it was online for two hours before some friend of mine called me and said, ‘what the hell are you doing?’ I had to delete that, so that was pretty bad, that’s definitely one of the worst.”
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM BIRTHDAY CAKE?
“Red Velvet with a layer of molten Nutella on the top. I love Nutella, I could eat Nutella for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
FAVOURITE RACING MEMORY?
“Winning the Rotax World Championship in 2013. It was a pretty pivotal achievement in how my career was shaped after that because that’s really what drove me to come race full-time in Europe and thus, I am here where I am now.”
WHAT’S YOUR MOST TREASURED POSSESSION?
“I’m not very materialistic. I would say my family, but that’s not a thing I have. There’s a watch my dad gave me for my 18th birthday, which is obviously pretty, pretty special to me.”
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN?
“If you don’t believe in yourself, then why should people believe in you.”
FAVOURITE PLACE YOU’VE BEEN TO AND ONE PLACE YOU’D LIKE TO VISIT?
“My favourite place I’d been is New Zealand. It's just so beautiful, so green and the people are so nice. It’s really like a different world where life is more chill. I had a great time there. We spent five weeks there, actually Richard was with me, and it was just a blast.
“One place I’d like to visit is Melbourne and Sydney, so I’m going to check one of those off.”