Formula 2 driver Juan Manuel Correa has spoken publicly for the first time since being severely injured in the that crash that killed Anthoine Hubert.
The 20-year-old underwent a 17-hour operation in London on Sunday.
The Ecuadorian-American said the aftermath was “tougher than anything I have ever faced both physically and mentally”.
He now faces up to a year of rehabilitation as he recovers from spinal injuries and two broken legs.
A statement released on Thursday said: “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.”
Hubert, who was 22, suffered a huge impact from Correa’s car, which was travelling at about 170mph, at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
Speaking for the first time since the crash, Correa said: “I understand my future regarding the recovery of my legs, specifically my right leg is still quite uncertain, and that my physical rehabilitation will be extremely long and complicated.
“I am still processing everything that has, and is, happening.”
Shortly after the crash, Correa was placed in an induced coma and diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome.
But after showing signs of physical improvement, doctors focused on preparing him for surgery to save his right leg, which would allow medical experts to determine the level of damage to his tibia, ankle and foot.
Correa remains under supervision in the hospital which specialises in orthopaedic surgeries and is scheduled for an additional, less complex surgery in two weeks’ time.
“I want to thank every single person who one way or another has shown me their support,” Correa added.
“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.”