Spa medical chief responds to Correa criticism

Jamie Woodhouse
Juan Manuel Correa planning racing return in 2021.

Juan Manuel Correa planning racing return in 2021.

The chief medical officer at Spa, doctor Christian Wahlen, has dismissed the claims of Juan Manuel Correa that he was forgotten about after his horror crash at the circuit.

Correa was involved in a high-speed collision at Raidillon corner during the F2 Feature Race last year which cost Anthoine Hubert his life, while Correa was left fighting for his with severe injuries.

And the American driver recently criticised the lack of care he received from the FIA, claiming they just moved on to the next race in Monza and left the surgeons to deal with his injuries that were unlike anything they had seen before.

But Wahlen, the chief medical officer at Spa since 1985 and a member of the FIA’s medical commission for 25 years, has responded to refute those claims.

“Juan Manuel Correa received immediate medical attention at the scene of the accident, administered by the circuit-appointed doctor who is an experienced anaesthetist,” he told

“The activities of medical staff attending the accident were coordinated by FIA deputy F1 medical delegate and F1 rescue coordinator doctor Ian Roberts.

“Juan Manuel received continuous care as he was transported by ambulance to the track medical centre. On arrival he was stabilised by the trauma team, who are under my responsibility as chief medical officer for this grand prix.

“After consulting with doctor Alain Chantegret, FIA F1 medical delegate, it was clear from the nature of his injuries that Juan Manuel needed to be transferred immediately by helicopter to the care of the Center Hospitalier Universitaire Liège (CHU Liège) to receive more specialist medical and operative care.

“In my role as chief medical officer and as an FIA medical delegate, I remained in constant contact with the hospital and also visited Juan Manuel on Monday 2nd September, where he was recovering well from the surgery to his feet.

“That same day, Gérard Saillant contacted Juan Manuel’s father, Juan Carlos Correa, to assure them that he was at their disposal.

“On Tuesday morning Juan Manuel developed symptoms indicating a respiratory problem. On the same day, the Correa family took the decision to transfer him to a specialist clinic at a hospital in London to receive orthopaedic treatment to his right foot at the earliest opportunity.”

Correa would later return to Miami to continue his recovery and the FIA will, according to, communicate its findings of the investigation into the Spa crash imminently.

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