Sutil slams 'coward' Hamilton for not appearing in his trial
Adrian Sutil has slammed Britain's Formula One star Lewis Hamilton for failing to appear in court as the German was given an 18-month suspended sentence after being found guilty of grievous bodily harm.india Updated: Feb 02, 2012 00:01 IST
Adrian Sutil has slammed Britain's Formula One star Lewis Hamilton for failing to appear in court as the German was given an 18-month suspended sentence after being found guilty of grievous bodily harm.
The 29-year-old Sutil was found guilty of stabbing Lotus Renault shareholder Eric Lux in the neck with a champagne glass in a nightclub brawl that broke out during celebrations after Hamilton's win at Shanghai's Chinese Grand Prix in April 2011.
A Munich court gave Sutil an 18-month suspended sentence on Tuesday and fined him 200,000 euros ($263,000) for his part in the brawl. Hamilton is alleged to have been with Sutil at the time of the incident, but the McLaren driver declined to appear in court as a witness and wrote to the court to say he had seen nothing.
"Lewis is a coward, I do not want to be friends with someone like that," Sutil told German daily Bild. "As far as I am concerned, he isn't a man. Even his father sent me a text message and wished me luck for the trial.
"There was nothing from Lewis. He has changed his phone number and I cannot reach him anymore."
Sutil and Hamilton had been friends since starting their careers in Formula 3, when they drove for the same team, before they graduated to Formula One. Hamilton appeared in public on Wednesday at the presentation of the new McLaren car in Woking, near London.
With the new Formula One season set to start on March 18 with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, Sutil faces an uncertain future, having lost his place in Force India's cockpit to compatriot Nico Hulkenberg.
His manager has said it is "almost impossible that Adrian will drive this season", but the German can keep his Formula One licence despite his conviction.