Former Force India driver Adrian Sutil is set to appeal against his conviction for GBH handed down by courts in his native Germany last week.
At the end of a two-day trial in Munich, the 29-year-old was found guilty of assaulting the co-owner of the Lotus F1 team, Eric Lux, in a Shanghai nightclub last April following the Chinese Grand Prix and given an 18-month suspended sentence and a fine of £166,139.
But on Wednesday Sutil’s manager, Manfred Zimmermann, confirmed that his client was lodging an appeal against the decision. “We are convinced that this judgment is not appropriate,” Zimmermann was quoted as saying by the SID news agency.
“There are many things that went against us.”
The news agency reports that the public prosecutors in the case are also pushing for a harsher sentence to be handed down to Sutil, and that the appeal hearing is likely to go before a higher regional court.
An appeal hearing could see Lewis Hamilton be called to give evidence in front of the court as a witness, the McLaren driver having been with Sutil in the Shanghai nightclub when the offence occurred. He was excused from appearing at the original hearing as the dates clashed with commitments with his team.
Hamilton’s non-appearance at the hearing did not sit well with Sutil who took to the German press to describe his long-time friend as “a coward”, adding that he also didn’t receive any messages of support from the Briton prior to the case.
Having been dropped by Force India in December in favour of countryman Nico Hulkenberg for 2012 – a decision the team has since insisted had nothing to do with Sutil’s court case – Sutil’s F1 career is currently in limbo with all other seats taken on the grid and the fall-out from his case also likely to count against him.