The FIA is pursuing a lifetime ban for disgraced kart racing driver Luca Corberi, with representatives of the governing body saying in a tribunal this week they believe such punishment is required given the severity of his actions.
The 23-year-old shocked the motorsport community by throwing his kart’s front bumper at rival Paolo Ippolito during the KZ final in October, before he and his father physically assaulted Ippolito after the race.
Ahead of the attack, which the FIA described as “premeditated”, Corberi was enraged as a collision with Ippolito forced him to retire from the race, and his lawyers have used this fact to defend him and push for a less severe sanction.
Specifically, they argued that the adrenaline from the on-track collision means that the attack wasn’t premeditated, rather it was a case of him having “motive” and not thinking things through.
Corberi’s lawyers highlighted the pitlane fracas between Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard at the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix and argued that the incident last year is not dissimilar to what Schumacher did after Coulthard wrecked his race.
However, FIA representatives stressed that Corberi had sat in the paddock and waited for Ippolito, before he and his father attacked him.
A final decision by the tribunal is expected in the first half of April.
Last year, in the aftermath of the incident, the Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI), Italy’s governing body for motorsport, recommended the “maximum sanction” for Luca Corberi and his father.
The ACI offered a “harsh and firm condemnation” of the incident and recommended “the maximum sanction provided for by the regulations” for Luca and his dad, who owns the kart circuit at which the incident occurred.
Corberi, for his part, swiftly urged the stewards to take his licence away and vowed never to compete in motorsport again.
“I’d like to apologise to the motorsport community for what I’ve done,” Corberi wrote in a Facebook post.
“There are no excuses to explain why I’ve done such a disgraceful act. This has been something I’ve never done in my 15 years of career, and I really hope it won’t be seen by anybody else in the future.”
Continuing, Corberi said he offered to give up his racing licence after the race, but explained that the stewards don’t have the power to take it away.
“So please don’t be against them, they were just doing their work in the best way they could. For this reason I’ve decided to don’t take part to any other motorsport competition for the rest of my life. That’s not a self-justice, it’s simply the right thing to do,” he added.