Formula 1 drivers have condemned the behaviour of kart driver Luca Corberi as "unacceptable", as Italian authorities on Thursday suspended the racing licences of those involved in last weekend’s fracas.
Corberi caused outrage at the FIA world karting championships at Lonato when he attempted to throw a kart bumper at a rival on track, before then attacking him in the post race parc ferme; triggering a brawl that involved several other individuals.
The FIA has opened an investigation in to the matter, with its karting commission president Felipe Massa saying those involved will face ‘consequences’.
The Italian motorsport federation, ACI Sport, has also invited its federal prosecutors to get involved, and is pushing for the maximum penalty to be handed down.
It announced on Thursday that it was suspending the racing licences of Corberi, his father Marco and their Lonato kart track pending the outcome of an investigation.
A statement said: “The Sports Judge, accepting the request from the Sports Attorney, decided to suspend all licenses as a precautionary measure attributable to Luca Corberi, Marco Corberi and those of the Kartodromo of which the latter is the Chief Executive Officer. The provision of immediate application will be valid for the entire period of the investigation.”
Corberi, who has enjoyed a successful career in karting, has raced against many of F1’s current stars – but they did not hold back in their criticisms of what he did.
Max Verstappen said: “I guess it's very clear that that's not what you want to happen. It was also pretty unsafe. I mean, arguments happen in sport, I guess that's normal, but try to keep it by just having conversations.”
He added: “But I think everybody saw that it was unacceptable. He said that himself I think, and that he stopped racing. Let's see what's going to happen.”
Williams driver George Russell echoed Verstappen’s thoughts and said there was "no excuse" for Corberi behaving the way he did.
“First and foremost he put himself in a huge amount of danger,” said the Williams driver. “Standing at that point of a track, 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 pits was unacceptable in any walk of life ultimately.
“Motorsport is incredibly passionate and there's no excuse for anybody to react in that manner, so I trust the FIA are going to impose the correct penalties.”
Lance Stroll, also a former rival of Corberi, added: “I think he was completely out of line. Behaviour like that can't be tolerated in our sport. That 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. I believe the FIA is going to handle it, as they should, and something like that needs to be heavily addressed. There needs to be a severe penalty for his actions.”