Sutil facing trial at end of month
13 January 2012 – In what could be a significant development for the 2012 F1 driver market, Adrian Sutil is facing a suspended jail sentence of one year. The German, one of several drivers aiming for the final Williams seat, allegedly assaulted Genii Capital’s Eric Lux in China and a court hearing has now been confirmed for later in January.
On the night after the race in Shanghai, an incident took place in the city centre. Although details remain varied and somewhat vague, German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) is reporting that Sutil – who turned 29 on Wednesday – stabbed Lux (a Luxembourgian entrepreneur and founding partner of Genii Capital, co-owner of the Lotus Renault GP Formula 1 team) in the neck with a broken glass.
On Thursday, a court announced that the case is to stand trial later this month. According to FAZ, the incident developed as several in the F1 community returned to the city following Lewis Hamilton’s victory. It is believed the M1NT discotheque in question was occupied by a high number of Lotus Renault GP team guests, one of which is believed to have complained to Lux about Sutil’s behaviour on two occasions.
A friend of Lux is reported to have spilled a drink on Sutil, with Lux eventually asking the German driver to leave the nightclub. Regarding the subsequent ‘attack’, Lux claims that he was struck by Sutil with a heavy glass, whereas Sutil has said that it was his intention to throw a drink but not its glass. Lux has since required 24 stitches and it is believed the glass entered his neck just millimetres from vital nerves.
As Lewis Hamilton was also present in the nightclub and could have been a witness to the incident, the McLaren driver may be required to share evidence in court.