Italy’s national automotive club ACI has suspended the licences of karter Luca Corberi, his father Marco Corberi and the family-run Lonato circuit after the now notorious incident in the 2020 karting world championship.
The younger Corberi achieved infamy this past weekend when, following an incident with rival Paolo Ippolito that sent him into the barriers, he climbed out of his kart, picked up its front bumper and threw it at Ippolito while he was racing by.
Corberi then appeared to ignore marshals’ instructions on what was a live track, and was pictured attacking Ippolito post-race, with his father joining the confrontation.
The ACI investigation into the incident is ongoing, but after the prosecution recommended the preliminary suspension of the three relevant licences, an ACI judge duly enacted this measure on Thursday, provisionally until December 5.
The elder Corberi is the CEO of the Lonato circuit, which is a regular feature of the international karting calendar.
Luca Corberi took to social media in the aftermath of the incident, saying there were no excuses for his actions and vowing not to race ever again and to accept whatever punishment is handed down.
Corberi, 23, was a highly-promising young karter in the previous decade, having gone head-to-head versus a number of current Formula 1 drivers on the international scene in the KF3 class.
He was fifth in the 2012 European championship won by George Russell (pictured above), and himself won the 2012 World Cup ahead of the likes of Russell, Racing Point driver Lance Stroll, IndyCar’s Alex Palou and current F1 juniors Callum Ilott (Ferrari), Jehan Daruvala (Red Bull) and Dan Ticktum (Williams).
Asked about Corberi’s actions in the lead-up to F1’s Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, Russell said: “Absolutely unacceptable. I think first and foremost he put himself in a huge amount of danger.
“Standing at that point of a track and ultimately you put somebody else in a huge amount of danger as well with the actions he took when he was on track, and obviously following up what happened in the in the pits was unacceptable in any walk of life, ultimately.
“He was completely out of line. Behaviour like that can’t be tolerated in our sport” :: Lance Stroll
“Motorsport is incredibly passionate but there’s no excuse for anybody to react in that manner, so I trust the FIA are going to impose the correct penalties.
“I know that he’s already stated that he will be stopping karting and he apologised for his actions, so yeah definitely a ban should be coming his way if he wants to be continuing.”
Russell, who is familiar with the Lonato layout from both his initial karting career and a number of more recent outings, said the aftermath of the initial contact between Ippolito and Corberi – which does not appear to have been caught on camera – suggested it had been a very serious accident, but made it clear this was no excuse for Corberi’s actions.
“I raced against Luca for a good three or four years in my karting career and I didn’t really know that side of him really. He was always pretty clean and was always a good driver, he was always at the front end of the grid, and I’ve never seen that side of him ever before.
“I don’t know what happened prior to the actions he took. I know that was an incredibly fast part of the track and for him to be that far into the tyre barrier, something pretty substantial must have happened, which also must have been very dangerous.
“But like I say, there’s no excuse to the actions he took afterwards.”
“I think he was completely out of line,” said Stroll. “Behaviour like that can’t be tolerated in our sport. It shows a bad example to the young generation.
“We fight so hard on track, there’s just no need for violence off the track. That’s how I see it and I believe the FIA are going to handle it as they should.
“Something like that needs to be heavily addressed and there needs to be a severe penalty for his actions.”