Luca Corberi has been handed a 15-year racing ban for his violent conduct at last year’s FIA KZ Karting World Championship event in Italy the FIA has confirmed.
The Italian, who was 23 at the time, crashed out of the event after a collision with another racer, Paolo Ippolito, and then threw the broken front bumper of his kart towards Ippolito who was still racing.
Footage of the scene was widely shared on social media, as was a subsequent attack by Corberi on Ippolito in parc fermé. Parents of both karters joined the fray.
In its official decision published on Monday, an FIA tribunal said that Corberi’s actions breached multiple Articles of the FIA Statutes, Code of Good Conduct and Karting World Championship Sporting regulations, declaring that “he is fully and completely guilty.”
The ban includes disqualification from the 2020 World Championship as well as participation in competition organised or regulated by the FIA and holding of any positions or duties “on behalf of the FIA and/or within a body of the FIA.”
Corberi’s defence acknowledged and did not dispute any of the three actions highlighted at last month’s tribunal hearing:
(i) he threw the front fairing of his kart to the track towards other drivers who were still competing.
(ii) he crossed the track several times at different spots, in the middle of the race, disobeying the instructions given to him by the officials.
(iii) he physically attacked another driver in parc fermé.
The defence argued that his actions had stemmed from anger due to his crashing out of the race and that worldwide responses to the incident had aggravated circumstances. Both issues were rejected by the tribunal.
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The FIA had argued for a full life ban from racing, but the tribunal decided that Corberi “deserves a second chance” because of his age, his experience, his apology the day after the incident and the lack of any similar episode in his career.
It said: “The tribunal considered that the respondent should have a second chance to come back to the motor sport world after having served a certain number of years of ban and suspension which shall reflect the gravity of his acts; as such, a life-time sanction would not be appropriate.”
Corberi and his father said in a statement acknowledged by the tribunal that “it breaks our hearts to see the same images shared in every corner of the world knowing that this will bring bitterness and regret to the industry.”
The tribunal made clear that it had no doubts as to the severity of the incident and necessary sanction, declaring that there was “no valid argument which could mitigate the Respondent’s culpability. The Respondent himself actually expressed it clearly in his statement: he is fully and completely guilty.”