Brake Glow

An aspiring motorsports journalist’s personal blog.

Tag Archives: Sutil

Sutil: Hamilton is a coward, changed phone number

Adrian Sutil had some harsh words for his (former?) friend Lewis Hamilton after Sutil’s appearance in a Munich court.

The German lashed out in Germany’s Bild am Sonntag, calling the McLaren driver a coward and “not even a man.” The harsh words come after Sutil’s suspended 18-month sentence and EUR 200,000 fine. Sutil had called Hamilton to testify in the case, but because of Hamilton’s prior commitments to McLaren’s launch of the MP4-27, Hamilton was unable to attend.

With Hamilton’s absence, the German had no official witnesses in the trial against him. Sutil indicated he felt Hamilton’s testimony would have cleared himself of any wrongdoing in the nightclub fight that left Lotus co-owner Eric Lux badly cut.

Sutil took Hamilton’s absence personally. “Lewis is a coward, I do not want to be friends with someone like that,” Sutil said. “(Hamilton’s) father sent me a text message written and wished me luck for the process” but that was all the help that came from the Hamiltons, said the former Force India driver. Sutil alleges Hamilton took another step to ensure the German’s legal troubles could not bother the 2008 World Champion: he changed his phone number. “(Hamilton) has changed his phone number. I could not reach him anymore,” Sutil said.

The legal troubles have left Sutil’s career and reputation badly damaged. Sutil’s manager said a 2012 F1 seat is now “almost impossible.” But, his manager said, the FIA allowing Sutil to keep his super license has helped the German’s confidence.

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Sutil Convicted, Fined

German Formula 1 driver, Adrian Sutil, was found guilty of “causing grievous bodily harm” to Eric Lux, Genii and Lotus F1 co-owner.

The hearing, in a Munich court, shed new light on the events surrounding the conclusion of the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai last April. Closed circuit television footage from inside the nightclub where Lewis Hamilton hosted his victory party shows the lead up to the altercation between then-Force India driver, Sutil, and Lotus Executive, Lux. The footage had no audio but showed Lux’s group vacating the VIP area when a group of friends including Hamilton and Sutil enter.

Lux returns later and grabs Sutil’s left arm and attempts to forcibly remove Sutil from his chair. Seemingly instinctively, Sutil reacts and pushes Lux away with his free arm. Unfortunately for Sutil, however, he was still holding the glass. The glass in Sutil’s hand resulted in the cut to Lux’s neck which ultimately needed 24 stitches.

Although the footage seemed to indicate Sutil acted in self-defense, the Munich court handed down a suspended sentence of 18 months. Sutil was also told to pay a EUR 200,000 fine. Coincidentally, Sutil and his management team met with Lotus officials late in 2011 to discuss a potential role with Lotus in 2012. Perhaps an out-of-court agreement would have been met had Sutil became a driver for Lotus.

Sutil’s management came out later Tuesday to reveal the German will not receive any reprimands from the FIA, Formula One’s governing body.

Weekend Round Up (Jan 20-22)

I apologize for a lack of content over the weekend. I was out of town and away from computer access for much of the weekend to attend a baptism for my niece. With that in mind, here’s a brief look at what’s happening in the racing world since Friday night.

Michael Shank Racing Wins Rolex 24: After years of trying, the Michael Schank Racing team won their first Rolex 24 at Daytona. The team, consisting of A.J. Allmendinger, Oz Negri, John Pew and Justin Wilson, fought off a hard-charging Ryan Dalziel in his Starworks Motorsports entry to win the famed event by a mere 5.2 seconds. The narrow margin of victory marked one of the closest finishes in endurance racing history. The win also gives strong momentum to the Michael Shank Racing squad as they begin the endeavor into a new field of racing: IndyCar. Full results from the Rolex 24 here.

Tracy to MSR in 2012?: Speaking of Rolex 24 winners, Michael Shank Racing, there have been strong indications that a deal to sign 22-year IndyCar veteran and 2003 CART Champion, Paul Tracy, to their IndyCar program. Tracy was in Daytona competing against MSR in Doran Racing’s DP. ““I’m trying to do a deal with Michael Shank to start an IndyCar team with himself and AJ Allmendinger,” Tracy told Speed.com’s Marshall Pruett. “We have a sponsor lined up. We need to put together an engine program this week and tie up a couple of other lose (sic) ends of some other contractual stuff, and if we can do that, then we’ll get the car put together and try to get to Sebring to test.” One obstacle facing Tracy and MSR are the sponsor connections Tracy has to Honda-Canada. MSR signed an engine contract with Lotus but, should Tracy bring Honda dollars and connections, the MSR team may be easily coaxed into signing on with Honda instead. Tracy has been on the hunt for a full time IndyCar ride since the last year of Champ Car in 2007 when he drove for Gerry Forsythe’s team.

Paul Tracy last drove full-time in 2007 for Forsythe Racing's Champ Car team. Could Tracy become MSR's driver in 2012 for his farewell tour from IndyCar racing? (Photo: Zach Wenzel)

IndyCar Teams Resume Testing, Barrichello Turns First Laps: A large group of IndyCar teams have returned to a testing regimen to prepare the new DW12s for competitive action. KV Racing, Andretti Autosport, Dreyer and Reinbold and Panther Racing have all turned laps at Sebring today with more expected to join the group this week. The test marks the first time new Andretti Autosport driver, James Hinchcliffe, dons his new GoDaddy.com colors. The one stealing the spotlight in Sebring, however, is an IndyCar rookie having only turned his first laps in an IndyCar but a few hours ago. The rookie comes highly recommended though by much of the paddock, especially Tony Kanaan. Of course, we’re talking about the most experience Formula One driver in history, Rubens Barrichello. The Brazilian is evaluating a potential run in the IndyCar series this year following his departure from WilliamsF1. Officially, the test is set only to allow Barrichello to provide his expertise feedback on the new car’s development. But many, including Barrichello, have left open the possibility to run in IndyCar.

Barrichello’s first departure from pit lane in an IndyCar was posted to KV Racing’s youtube channel and can be seen below.

Sutil Attempted Resolution with Lux: German F1 driver, Adrian Sutil, attempted to resolve the bar fight saga with Lotus Team Executive, Eric Lux, out of court it has emerged. Sutil realizes the outcome of the case largely determines what will become of his career. He acknowledged attempts to resolve the situation out of court with Lux, whom he cut with a broken glass in a Shanghai night club. The 28- year old talked to SID news agency about the severity of the situation. “I’m sorry, extremely sorry, I didn’t want it to happen,” Sutil said. The former Force India driver told SID despite appealing to Lux out of court, Lux had no interest and “wanted to destroy” Sutil. Lux received phone calls from Sutil in his efforts to apologize, but Lux never accepted the calls. “I expected him to come to Luxembourg and apologize to me. A call is not enough,” Lux testified. Sutil and Lux did discuss resolutions but none were agreed upon. Sutil claimed Lux’s demands were outlandish and involved a “very, very high amount” of money as well as Sutil’s sitting out of numerous Grands Prix.