Former Force India driver Adrian Sutil has been in Munich this week appearing before public prosecutors charged with grievous bodily harm surrounding an incident with the co-owner of the Lotus F1 team in a Shanghai nightclub last April, and on Tuesday the court found the German driver guilty and gave him an 18-month suspended sentence.
The 29-year-old was also handed a 200,000 euro (£166,139) fine, which will be paid to charities, according to the BBC.
The two-day trial had centred around an incident following last year’s Chinese Grand Prix when Sutil had been in a nightclub celebrating his close friend Lewis Hamilton’s victory in that Sunday’s race. Eric Lux, the Luxembourg-born chief executive of the Genii Capital investment company that owns the team formerly known as Lotus Renault GP, had also been in attendance at the venue and sustained cuts to his neck, which Sutil has now been convicted of causing by a broken glass.
Speaking in court on Monday, Sutil had revealed he had tried to settle the row out of court with Lux and was very sorry the incident had ever occurred, reiterating that he hadn’t intended to injure him.
“I did everything to try to settle this row,” Sutil was quoted as saying by Reuters. “I am really sorry, extremely sorry. I never wanted for this to happen.”
Lux, however, in his own evidence to the court had said: “A phone call is not good enough.”
Away from the court case and Sutil had already been left in something of a career limbo, as despite a strong end to the 2012 season, Force India decided to drop him in favour of countryman Nico Hulkenberg, who impressed in the role of third driver.