Corberi apologises for “disgraceful” Lonato incident and says he will never race again

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Kart racer Luca Corberi has apologised for his actions during yesterday’s FIA karting world championship event, describing his behaviour as “disgraceful”.

Footage of Corberi throwing the bumper from his kart at rival Paolo Ippolito during the KZ final race has been widely circulated on social media. FIA karting commission president Felipe Massa, who shared an image from another video which appeared to show Corberi attacking Ippolito in the paddock after the race, said the incident would have “consequences”.

Corberi issued a statement on Monday. “I’d like to apologise to the motorsport community for what I’ve done,” he posted on a social media profile.

“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.”

The 23-year-old said he’d offered his licence to the stewards following the event.

“After the race, once I’ve been called by the sporting judges, I asked them to take my licence away because I was fully conscious about my irreparable mistakes,” he said. “But as they showed me, they don’t have the power for doing it, it’s written in the international rules. 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.”

Corberi’s track record includes victory in the CIK-FIA KF3 World Cup in 2012. He finished fifth in the championship for the same category that year, which was won by George Russell.

Last weekend race was Corberi’s first appearance in the KZ Final for three years, at the track operated by his parents.

“My family has been in karting since 1985, we’ve seen it grow, we’ve seen the best and the worst part of it,” he continued. “This episode will be remembered as one of the worst in our sport and that’s something I’ll never forget.

“I’m not asking any indulgence, because I don’t deserve it. I will totally agree with the punishments required.

“I’m writing today to say sorry even if it’s not enough, because after all the bad things that happened during this event, the worst ever has been done by me, a guy who love this sport and after the worst day of his life will still remember his good racing memories.”

The FIA announced today it is investigating the actions of Corberi and others in the incident at Lonato.

Update: The statement quoted above briefly disappeared from Corberi’s Facebook page, where it had been posted, and was later reinstated.

Image: Tony Kart via Instagram

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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81 comments on “Corberi apologises for “disgraceful” Lonato incident and says he will never race again”

  1. His contrition is almost as impressive as the videos of his actions were shocking.

    1. @x1znet He made a huge mistake and by the sounds of it, did everything he could to rectify it, I wish him all the best in the future, that kind of behaviour obviously can’t be tolerated, he’s done what he can to make it better. It happened and hopefully serves as an example to others, his contrition seems very genuine.

      The good to come of this is that nobody got harmed and you like to think the next time someone is in that situation, they won’t repeat his actions.

    2. We’re still well in getting-ahead-of-the-story territory here. Luca was never going to return to any sort of serious racing, with or without the FIA’s intervention, without at least causing an enormous stink. The family likely have numerous business relationships that will be an uphill fight to keep from getting dragged down by what they did. It’s entirely possible the FIA refuse to sanction any further competition at their circuit, at least while it remains in their hands. Anything short of this outpouring of contrition would be oil on the fire and make it harder for anyone willing to forgive and forget on any sponsorships or other deals that have a less direct connection with the incident.

      If any criminal proceedings arise, this move might also be crucial to the ultimate outcome they get.

    3. I mean at 23 years old if you’re still racing karting you probably have no chance at a racing future and he probably knows this

      1. There are several drivers at world championship level getting paid to race in karting. Bas Lammers & Davide Fore are 35 & 46 respectively and have had long professional careers in karting.

      2. @carlosmedrano Only if you consider only car racing as a ‘racing future’. Drivers like Bas Lammers and Jeremy Iglesias drive karts professionally, like for a living. They are driving commercials for their brands.

        1. Sorry, I didn’t see @hollidog ‘s reply

    4. roger williams
      6th October 2020, 19:14

      I’ll believe it when I see it. I don’t buy into this at all. He posted a video of himself throwing the bumper at the racer on his twitter and said, ‘Mom I’ve made it,’ as if that incident was humorous. This tells me he was not sincere about forfeiting his license immediately after the race. The oh crap moment has hit him now and he’s trying to salvage his career.

      1. That was a joke parody account made shortly after all this transpired

  2. Privileged speak.

  3. Good that he apologised and has vowed not to race, however that was his own decision. Now what about the assault? He and his father could be prosecuted, particularly his father who body slammed the victim hard into a wall. That lad could have fractured his back. Actions have consequences and so far the apology is a start but not enough

    1. Did his father really bodyslam the guy? I’ve not seen the video of that

      1. yeah he did. its in the same video of the first attack

  4. Probably the maddest thing I’ve ever seen in 30 years following motorsport.

  5. These are just words and saying he won’t take part in any other racing competition doesn’t bind him. I’d rather have the FIA formally ban him from racing… Especially when it seems that this apology was posted on Facebook and that both the post and the Facebook account were deleted right after.

    I also have my doubts about the sincerity of his apologies : are they coming from an honest regretful racer ? Or did he apologized because of how viral he went over one day, with the entire motorsport community (including many famous professional drivers) pointing a finger at him? Weirdly enough, he only apologies to the “motorsport community”, the same one who made him infamous, but not a single word has been addressed to the “victims” i.e. Ippolito, or any other drivers who were endangered by his wreckless behavior.

    What about the father who savagely tackled Ippolito afterwards?

    The more I think about it, the more I believe he would not have this “contrition”, had the incident not been made viral.

    I also fail to see how he couldn’t calm himself between the moment he was taken out (lap 10 or so out of 25?) and the end of the race, but suddenly found the light and understood the consequences of his actions right when he was called by the stewards (and even asked to have his licence revoked).

    1. I cannot argue against your last paragraph at all.
      He also says he’s had a 15-year career… 23 year old still in karts: If he had no plans to race next season, vowing to never race again is meaningless.
      Maybe I should have written

      His attempt at contrition

    2. His ‘uman rights under EU law may preclude the FIA issuing a lifetime ban.

    3. @arhn Funny how something like this instantly goes around the world. If this incident didnt happen, then no one would be talking about karting or this race at all.

      In my opinion the attack after the race in the paddock was far worse than the incident on the track. You’d think that quite some time had to pass before this guy / his Dad sought out the competitor. These guys had time to think about what they were doing. It was basically a pre-meditated assault. They should have the book thrown at them.

  6. My cynical head says he’s only saying anything because Dad’s track is on the line.

    Both of them need a trip to court.

    1. Exactly. It is damage control, from here on…

  7. What he did was really dangerous and could have killed someone. But I’ve got to say I hate the rush to ban him for life. Sure give him a gigantic five/etn year ban. But ban for life? When did we forget about rehabilitation? He shouldn’t be forced to give up his passion (and perhaps his job) for eternity.

    1. That what I was thinking. He didn’t hurt anyone. Even though it was a bit too close. Still he is a racer and doing a one stupid thing should not be a reason to give him a lifetime ban. Yes he needs a lesson but the first lesson was to say sorry which may sound a bit artifical but still it is a harsh one.

      1. His dad should get a lifetime ban for what he did but I would be a little easier for Luca.

      2. He didn’t hurt anyone.

        The only reasons he didn’t hurt anyone is

        1) everyone on track was very lucky
        2) he and his dad are apparently not strong enough to hurt someone

        He tried seriously hurting someone twice and his father did once. They should both be banned from motorsports for life.

    2. I think his family should stop being able to run that track, since it’s theirs and his father aggressively attacked to other guy after the race too. I might be a sceptic, but I actually think the guy is taking the hit to try and save the family from losing business at the track @cduk_mugello.

      I would be fine with taking away his licence and giving him a very long ban or even a lifetime ban to be a racer or race official with some conditions to reapply once he shows he has done enough to learn and change his tack.

      1. @bascb The FIA can’t ban the family from running the track; that would be for the local civil/criminal courts. They can ban any FIA-sanctioned events being held there.

        1. That is off course correct, yes @alianora-la-canta.

    3. You don’t want someone with such fragile sanity to potentially use his car on another driver or marshall out of anger.
      Imagine his car or kart didn’t break down, he could potentially run someone else over out of rage.

      1. People get wiser as they get older. A 5 year ban has always seem more fair to me than a lifetime ban.

        ie most people hate Justin Gatlin, but for me it’s just a great comeback story.

        1. Usually you mean, not always.
          I have no interest in banning him for life I’m more interested in his mental evaluation.

    4. @cduk_mugello By EU law, a ban that long, just like a lifetime ban, has to be reviewed if new evidence comes to light indicating that it is no longer necessary. (I believe, for this reason, the FIA cannot issue anything longer than 3 years unless it’s issuing a lifetime ban). The “lifetime ban” would be to prevent an unrepentant racer returning to the track just because they’d timed out their stint in the “sin bin”.

      1. @alianora-la-canta Amendment – indefinite bans can be issued if, and only if, it’s a strict financial issue (such as failure to pay a fine).

        1. @alianora-la-canta A very good point, as was the case with Briatore etc

  8. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    5th October 2020, 18:22

    You don’t say

  9. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I watched the video.

    I cannot see how the FIA has any other option but to ban him for life, It was a deliberate action, yes in the heat of the moment, but there is no excuse.

    What caused this in the first place though, I have not seen any footage of before the throwing of the spoiler/slitter, what happened?

    1. Two premeditated actions can not be called heat of the moment. Had he struck him with the helmet one could at least put it down to anger, but the nature of the attack showed a disregard for human safety. One can only imagine what they will do to their enemies.

      1. I agree, by heat of the moment I was talking about the first instance.

  10. Sunday, he is the moron of the year Monday, his apology shows he understands and I believe after a period of grace he be given a second and final chance.
    I still do not understand what happened before he made himself into such a stunning fool in our eyes.

    If his apology was Trump like then Ban him. But it wasn’t and for that reason he could’ve given a second chance. Normally I’d rip a guy up one side and down the other but his effort to apologize with the words he said from the heart are words that mean something to me.

    Give him the chance to try again but with limits of no more nonsense. Just race again and let him try to be a better person.

    1. Agreed, people make mistakes and nobody is perfect. It’s how you learn from those mistakes. It shows just how much is on the line for these young guys and how much of their life is consumed by trying to be good enough to win. I’m not saying what he did was right, but to give up on the one thing you love doing the most because you realise that your behaviour was unacceptable, says a lot.
      Imagine if Michael Schumacher got his hands on David Coulthard that year at The Belgium GP after retiring due to colliding into the back of the mclaren in heavy rain…. would your opinion be different today?

  11. And yet, Ferrucci and Ticktum still race.

    1. Jose Lopes da Silva
      5th October 2020, 18:57

      And Mazepin.

  12. Not enough, him and his dad need charging. And by saying he won’t race again almost gives him the power, when shouldn’t even be his choice.

  13. Jose Lopes da Silva
    5th October 2020, 18:58

    “If any criminal proceedings arise, this move might also be crucial to the ultimate outcome they get.”

    This, above anything else.

  14. It is one thing for you to lose your head, but for you and then your dad to both lose your heads means it runs in the family.
    It wasn’t like they threw a punch or something, this was meant to inflict serious physical harm without resorting to a weapon. They both require mental evaluation, father and son.
    Santo Ferrucci please pray for us.

  15. I think he was forced (convinced) to say to save his fathers business (because he was involved as well). He was probably told to at least save the business and live the life further.

  16. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    5th October 2020, 19:45

    It’s always sad for something like this to go viral and ruin someone’s career. Sure, it was a terrible incident and the penalty could be severe but the public humiliation of this being broadcasted is a massive punishment that exceeds even the physical assault we witnessed. I’m not sure any more punishment would be fair especially in view of the apology and decision to discontinue racing. There are very few people in the world who deserve this type of punishment and most times they get away with it along with crimes against humanity, not an assault. Corberi is not one of them.

    Max Verstappen got very physical with Ocon last year following their collision. Lifetime ban, JB? Of course not.

    1. max v did not throw a wing at ocon. also, a light shove it not the same as ploughing into someone after the race and trying to beat the shi out, with your father joining you.

      the wing that he threw could have seriously hurt the driver, (something like massa). he waited with the wing , so that is deliberate ..

      criminal proceedings please!

      1. @paiajay if you weight things, then you also have to weight that that a kart race is in no way comparable to a F1 race; I understand and share @freelittlebirds view. Far from defending Corberi, but if @f1bobby never saw this type of behavior in 30 years it is because we hadn’t, up until recently, a way to see.

        Anyway, good if he stops racing and I’m ok if the apology is to partially save the face and his parents’ license.

    2. ‘Getting physical’ is one thing, hurling things at an opponent’s vehicle in order to cause serious injury is a whole other ballpark. The only person who has ruined Corberi’s career is Corberi himself.

    3. @michael
      Jeez you scare easy, Max pushed him. So many maiden aunts on here !

  17. He has basically banned himself from racing because the FIA didn’t have the balls to do it. All the while, Felipe Massa, President of the CIK-FIA has only issued a dithering statement about “consequences for unacceptable behavior”.

    Shameful! And it is privilege that your behavior is so disgraceful, that you have to ban yourself because the governing body is unable to do it, simply because they are racing at a track you own.

    1. All the while, Felipe Massa, President of the CIK-FIA has only issued a dithering statement about “consequences for unacceptable behavior”.

      Surely there would have to be some sort of due process, some sort of investigation about what actually happened.. before a penalty can be applied.

    2. @kbdavies Correction: he banned himself because the FIA has to convene a tribunal in order for neutral people to determine the licence should be withdrawn, which has certain formal requirements and therefore will take multiple weeks to be held. Felipe would know that his high position means he cannot recommend a verdict or sentence for any named individual prior to that tribunal, in case it causes bias towards the tribunal members. The fact that the defendent has recommended his own sentence does not change this.

      The heaviest penalty the race stewards are permitted to issue on the spot is disqualification, which has already happened.

  18. This has to have judicial conqequences, for asaault at least.

    And he wasn’t the only one that attacked that other racing driver.
    Some one jump kick that same driver.

    insane stuff.

  19. Verstappen was punished for pushing Ocon lightly 3 or 4 times with an open hand, this guy throw an object onto a live track then full on body slammed him into a wall and threw his fists around, and his dad was even worst in the brawl. Surely as the owner of the track he is responsible for the safety of the drivers and attendees?

    1. @broke84 He is, but the expected punishment for that can only be handed out by tribunal. We must be patient.

  20. Maybe I’m a little soft on these things, but the apologies seem genuine and I find it quite sad that such a young boy says that he is not going to do something “the rest of his life”.

    What I am waiting for, are the apologies of his father, whose attitude seems even worse than that shown by Corberi. I dont know if he has speak elsewhere, and I do not excuse the attitude of the driver, but at the end of the day, he was in the car, he was racing, he could have the adrenaline rushing, high nerves… his father, no.

    1. All the more reason why he should never step in a car again let alone race, if adrenaline means he becomes aggressive!

  21. Agris Rūmītis
    5th October 2020, 22:26

    threw a towel so to speak. spectacular way to end to racing career. but – obviously there was something that got him SO annoyed. . . regardless i wish this guy all the best for his future endavours whatever they may be and i hope he does better in next stage of his affairs

    1. Agris Rūmītis
      5th October 2020, 22:32

      yes and after all this guy seem to have bigger balls than FIA to ban himself. Respect for that Luca

  22. “Update: The statement quoted above subsequently disappeared from Corberi’s Facebook page, where it had been posted.”

    Whoa…don’t tell me he deleted it.

    1. Perhaps his lawyers advised him that they could prove he was trying to save the other driver but slipped and ran into him. Then his dad was trying to save both of them but slipped on oil and missed his son but struck the other driver

      1. HAHAHA!I laughed!

  23. What an impressive appology. I need to translate this and show it to my kids. Just amazing.

    I wish politicians aroud the world cought doing some kind of corruption would walk away in this fashion.

    1. But he hasn’t apologised to the kid he tackled? I’d find it hard to believe he hasn’t suffered some type of injury.
      also it looks like the kid he attacked is about half his age, or at least half his height.

      Still puzzled why he still has his helmet on, after being punted off on lap 10 of a 25 lap race.
      Seriously disturbing incident.

    2. Save it, it’s a brilliant piece of pr repair.
      Written by someone who knows how to write stuff like that.

  24. He has a daughter and now what kind of sample he has to give out when she grows up.

    This act is worse. It reminded me of the Taekwondo athlete Angel Matos round housing a referee in the 2008 Olympics that resulted a lifetime ban after being DQ’d for taking too much time to nurse an injury. And he was on the lead before the ref put a stoppage and awarded the match to his opponent.

  25. Sacrificing himself to save his father it seems.

  26. Shouldn’t the police be involved in this?

    1. @Evans I’m sure it’s in the queue of things local police need to handle.

  27. I have an opinion
    6th October 2020, 7:21

    The Panel of Racefans Armchair Experts has convened and determined the following sanctions to be applied to both Luca Corberi and papa Corberi:

    Lifetime ban from attending any FIA-sanctioned event in any capacity, including to but not limited to:
    team member;
    marshall or other race official;
    food vendor;
    event host;

    In addition, FIA accreditation of the South Garda Karting Circuit is henceforth revoked in perpetuity.

    1. Well based on the clear evidence of the videos us armchair experts are generally pretty united in this for a change. We don’t normally have united opinions here butvIbsee very few comments, maybe 3 or 4 that say people should move on from it. Even James Hunt showed immediate remorse for punching a Marshall, Corberi had a chance to calm down after his first unforgivable action, his bumper did not hit the intended victim and struck another vehicle, he then full on assaulted the other driver after a huge amount of time, slamming him into the wall, with his father then also rugby tackling him into the same wall. Regardless of the incident that caused this rage, it is no excuse, there are stewards for policing this.

      So yeah, I’d say that us armchair experts witnessed a pretty clear assault that is worthy of a criminal charge, particularly the father who has a duty of care to the competitors.

      1. Jose Lopes da Silva
        6th October 2020, 9:47

        Mr Corberi, is that you?

        Don’t worry, this is only the Panel of Racefans Armchair Experts, it’s not a courthouse. Hopefully you’ll go to court and explain to a judge that the other guy ruthlessly kicked your son out, on your own track. A double humiliation for a proud father that should be considered as a mitigating circumstance for both agressions.

        Fortunately, this is not the 19th century Wild West or a Middle East country disregarding human rights, otherwise the Panel would not be asking a “Lifetime ban from attending any FIA-sanctioned event in any capacity”. They would be asking something different.

        1. So, every proud father is allowed violence if their son or daughter is “hurt”.

  28. Having seen so many non-apologies recently, I find this pretty refreshing. Very stupid thing to do (and there should be consequences), but for once it’s not “sorry that my actions caused you to think bad things” but “sorry for my actions”.

    1. But no form of excuse for the victim. This is pure damage control.

  29. Nice statement…which I’m sure his family’s lawyers have had a large hand in writing and telling him to issue this, since in criminal proceedings (if brought against him) this will be used to show he has remorse and get him a lighter sentence. Kind of amazed some people on here are saying he shouldn’t be banned for life. The guy picked up part of his car and threw it at someone racing at full speed. Give him another chance and who’s to say he won’t do it again and the outcome could definitely be a lot worse?

  30. Red mist on fleek!!

  31. Someone knows what made him get that mad?

  32. So is Corberi’s father going to be reprimanded for that slam into the fence? Absolutely no reason for that kind of behaviour.

  33. I still dont know what the racing incident prior to the bumper throw was that caused this dude and his dad to lose everything over.

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