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Stricken racing driver survives coma

Saturday September 21 2019

Track marshals look on as a crane lift parts of the damaged car of Sauber's Ecuadorian driver Juan Manuel Correa onto a truck following a serious accident involving several drivers during a Formula 2 race at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Spa, Belgium, on August 31, 2019. PHOTO | REMKO DE WAAL |

Track marshals look on as a crane lift parts of the damaged car of Sauber's Ecuadorian driver Juan Manuel Correa onto a truck following a serious accident involving several drivers during a Formula 2 race at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Spa, Belgium, on August 31, 2019. PHOTO | REMKO DE WAAL |  AFP

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American racing driver Juan Manuel Correa, injured in the Formula 2 Grand Prix crash that killed French Anthoine Hubert in late August, is out of an artificially induced coma, his team said on Saturday.

Correa, just 20, broke both his legs and suffered spinal injuries and acute respiratory failure before being placed in the induced coma.

The Quito born racer was travelling at 170 mph (270 kph) at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium on August 31 when a collision with Hubert's car left Correa needing an initial four hours of surgery at Liege hospital.

Correa, who grew up in Miami but is currently based in Barcelona, is now in "a race against time (for) major surgery in order to minimise risk of irreversible injuries," his team Sauber said.

"The medical priority for Juan Manuel now shifts from the lungs to the leg injuries that were sustained more than two weeks ago," the statement said.

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The accident happened as Hubert hit a wall at Spa and smashed into Correa at high speed, flipping the American's Sauber junior team car upside down and shattering Hubert's vehicle, the main monocoque separating from the rear.

Hubert, 22, who was considered a serious talent by Renault's F1 set up, died at the circuit 90 minutes after the race and was the first driver to die at a Grand Prix since the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger at Imola in 1994.

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