Sauber Junior Team by Charouz’s Juan Manuel Correa has spoken for the first time since the crash at Spa-Francorchamps after a 17 hours surgery.

Following a lengthy stay in Belgium, Correa was transferred to London where he was under induced coma for his lungs to stabalise to perform the surgery on his lower body. Once it was done, Correa was shifted to another hospital for the operation.

It took place on Sunday and was supposed to be for 10 hours but a fresh statement confirms that the surgery time was recorded at 17 hours, where the doctors had to remove more material from his body than anticipated.

He was kept under observation – and still is – for 72 hours since the operation, to be sure that there are no complications. With the time elapsed, the doctors are confident of rehab and are intending to keep in the hospital for six more weeks.

In addition to a full statement, Correa has also spoken for the first time since the incident, where he humbly thanks for all the prayers and support, not only from the motorsport community but from around the world.

“These past few weeks have been extremely tough, tougher than anything I have ever faced both physically and mentally,” he said. “I understand my future regarding the recovery of my legs, specifically my right leg is still quite uncertain, and that my physical rehab will be extremely long and complicated.

“I am still processing everything that has, and is, happening. I want to thank every single person who one way or another has shown me their support. I am humbled by the immense number of caring and affectionate messages I have received. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart and know that your encouragement and positivity have made a difference.”

Meanwhile, the statement from the family stated:

“On Sunday, September 29th, Juan Manuel Correa was admitted into a planned operation to reconstruct his lower right extremity. Doctors performed a combination of Orthopedic Flap and External Fixation Surgeries, and after 17 hours in the operating room, the 20-year-old emerged with hopeful news from doctors that the surgery was successful.

“The days following the surgery were stressful, as though deemed a success in the operating room, the next 48 – 72 hours were critical in the final outcome of the Flap Surgery procedure. Now Thursday, and more than 72 hours later, doctors are confident in a successful procedure while still under careful observation.

“During the procedure, doctors were forced to remove more bone material than they anticipated and solve several blood vessel issues, but state that the main objective of the surgery was achieved. Juan Manuel remains in a London hospital, and he is scheduled for one additional, less complex surgery in two weeks’ time.

“Doctors expect Juan Manuel will be able to leave the hospital in approximately six weeks. He will then embark on the road to recovery. The next year will be full of physical therapy, rehabilitation and corrective surgeries with the aim and objective of regaining the full use of his right foot and ankle.”

Here’s the last update on Juan Manuel Correa before the surgery