Disgraced kart racer handed 15-year FIA competition ban

The FIA has handed Luca Corberi a 15-year ban from racing following an incident at the world karting finals last October in Italy.

Disgraced kart racer handed 15-year FIA competition ban

Corberi, 23, was involved in an incident at Lonato during the world finals of the KZ category in which he crossed the track and threw the front fairing of his kart at another driver while the race was still ongoing.

Corberi faced widespread condemnation through motorsport for his behaviour towards Paolo Ippolito, having also sparked a brawl in the paddock after the race.

In the wake of the incident, Corberi vowed he would never race again, but the FIA confirmed that it would be launching a formal investigation into what happened.

The FIA’s International Tribunal staged a hearing in Paris last month to discuss the matter, and announced on Monday that Corberi had been banned from racing for 15 years.

Corberi’s defence argued that as the Italian authorities had already acted against him for the two incidents, the FIA was precluded from issuing further sanctions on the same grounds.

It was also argued that Corberi’s reaction was made “in a state of anger, determined by the unjust fact of others” after a collision with Ippolito that eliminated him from the race.

The defence also claimed that a precedent was clear in cross-country skiing where an athlete was only suspended for one competition for assaulting a competitor.

Luca Corberi

Luca Corberi

Photo by: FIA Karting World Championship

But the tribunal found that proceedings with the Italian authorities were still pending, and that the FIA has independent jurisdiction in this case. It also rejected the skiing comparison as it is a totally different sport.

The tribunal said it did consider a lifetime ban for Corberi, but deemed he should have the chance to make a return to motorsport upon serving an initial suspension.

“The tribunal decided that a 15-year sanction would be adequate and proportional, since such a sanction clearly reflects the gravity of the facts and the violence involved,” the decision reads, saying Coberi’s actions were “extremely serious and could have resulted in injuries for any of the drivers participating in the race (including himself).”

The ban precludes Coberi from “taking part in any motorsport events organised, directly or indirectly, by the FIA or the ANSs, or from exercising any role or function within the FIA.”

“This sanction is one of the most serious sanctions that the tribunal can impose,” it added. “No other sanction would be able to achieve the envisaged goals of general and specific deterrence and rehabilitation to the same degree - as such, this measure is necessary.”

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