F1 Winter Break
Hamilton wants to focus on racing, but gets a pelter from Sutil
McLaren Honda
Posted By: James Allen  |  01 Feb 2012   |  8:30 pm GMT  |  210 comments

“What I have decided to do this year is just focus on the most important thing and that’s racing,” Lewis Hamilton told the media today at the launch of his 2012 McLaren car.

After a 2011 season that was overshadowed by stories of his troubled personal life, Hamilton has hit the reset button over the winter and is ready to do what he does best: take the fight to the other F1 front runners.

But its hard to completely shed baggage in this game; at the same time he got a brickbat from his old friend Adrian Sutil who was angry that Hamilton had not given evidence at his trial for GBH nor sent him a message of support. He called the 2008 champion a “coward” for ducking the call to appear in court.

A frustrated Sutil told Bild newspaper in his native Germany, “Lewis is a coward. I do not want to be friends with someone like that. He is for me no man. Even his father sent me a text message and wished me luck for the process. Lewis came with nothing. He has changed his phone number. I could not reach him any more.”

There have been no denials about this quote – unlike a recent quote from a McLaren Applied Technologies boss which appeared to heap praise on Sebastian Vettel over the McLaren duo, which was denied by the team.

Hamilton was with Sutil in the Shanghai nightclub where the offence occurred, but has since distanced himself from the episode and ducked questions about it today, with a team spokesman intervening to say that as the verdict may be appealed, it was inappropriate for Hamilton to comment.

It’s a sad episode where no-one comes out a winner. The victim Eric Lux wanted Sutil to pay a price for leaving him bleeding in the club, photos of the wound in the hospital showed a savage gash to the side of Lux’s neck. The Lotus Renault team boss could not understand how anyone with any compassion could leave someone in that state without offering to help.

Sutil became damaged goods in the eyes of some of the team bosses in the round of negotiations over 2012 seats and this leaves him without one.

Another off track distraction Hamilton is keen to avoid developing into a saga is his contract renewal. “That’s going to be a big topic,” he admitted today.

Hamilton’s long term deal expires at the end of the year. Jenson Button is already confirmed for a minimum of three more years with the team. To get his price up at McLaren, Hamilton’s agents may flirt with Mercedes. Or he may play for a short contract to leave his options open with Red Bull, with Vettel’s deal due to expire in 2014.

“I think probably after the first couple of races it’s something we will probably want to get out of the way so we can focus on the rest of the year without the team being concerned and without it being something that’s just hanging around for us so then you guys won’t be having to ask questions about it,” said Hamilton.

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Amazing how after being found guilty in court Sutil finds the time to start calling people names!Instead of remorse he starts slinging mud, I,m afraid you are being very poorly avdised Mr Sitil and I advise you to lay low for as long as possible!!!!!


So Richard how would you feel if a purported friend didn't support you isn't that the esscence of friendship ? We of course don't know all the details but for Sutil to say what he said must mean he felt incredibly slighted by a so call friend and then begs the question based on Lewis last years ups and downs of not having a so called support network of close friends to call on for support unlike jenson begs the question with Lewis being a corporate product for most of his life does he know what friendship means?


There's something that we're not seeing here. This whole thing is not as straightforward as it seems.

Whether its something that was said or done that nobody wants to talk about or whatever,this whole tale isn't hanging together.

Having said that, How useful are 19 Management? I've no particular affiliation to H, but talk about 'not seeing it coming' and 'hanging your driver out to dry'.

If someone who the public know is your mate is up in court for something that you witnessed as you were there at the time (!) you can't just not testify AND not comment. Even if its for all the best reasons. You just look like a gutless s- - - bag, even if you're not.

'What, your up in court Monday on a charge that could screw the rest of your whole life. Oh, well I am your best mate but you know what, I'm washing my hair that day - sorry'.

If you want to get in to Puffy's party or Rihanna's birthday bash 19 are great. If you need an environment that lets you perform at the highest level in a sport that can kill you, forget it. But I'm sure they're like really cool even if they don't cut it in a grown-up world.

I would add that my opinions are entirely personal and formed solely based on observation throughout 2011.

Happy to be proved wrong.


@Marc Essence of friendship? Guess that could be defined as been prepared to use a champagne bottle to smash the other side of Mr Lux's head ant then being prepared to support the defence of your friend in court! No doubt your friends are happy your absence of corporate production, so that you can easily capitulate with this brand of friendship.


Maybe Lewis decided NOT to support Adrian! Maybe after seeing what he did, he decided in good conscience that he could not support that behaviour. Maybe he saw a side of Adrian that he no longer wanted any part of. There is always two sides to a story.


I can agree with your sentiments, doesn't matter who it is but GBH or inflicting another being is wrong on all levels. We have to respect these guys are also brands for the much needed advertising. If your mates bring you down or about to compromise you in anyway you have to evaluate their position and yours and distance yourself.

New year new beginning!


Cant you just make a valid point without having to descend into mudslinging? Come on its a new year...time to reset.


So tell me marc,does friendship require one party to perjure themselves at the behest of another?


It's one thing not to attend court to defend a friend, but cutting off all contact with that friend is just another level. He did not even have the decency to wish his "mate" good luck.


He should've wished Sutil good luck but he was right not to go to court and get involved. If Lewis went to court Sutil would've still been found guilty because it was cought on camera. this is a big year for Lewis, he doesn't need more hassle before it starts


Why? Would you wish your friend good luck if you had witnessed them attack another individual? Good luck for what exactly?


I also don't see the point of wishing one well when you saw what happened. He is an adult and he dug this little hole for himself and Sutil should walk the plank alone, If Sutil feels so aggrieved then he should find time to link up with Hamilton and sort things out as good friends do.


you don't believe in standing by friends in time of need then? it's obviously something sutil regrets and he must've been provoked. he deserved his punishment but you don't just desert a good friend, one text wouldn't hurt.


I wonder exactly what Sutil wanted Hamilton to do. - Commit perjury? No Hamilton has done the right thing to disassociate himself from this unfortunate event. You cannot defend the indefenceable and had Hamilton attempted to do so it the lawyers would have torn him to shreds in the face of indisputeable evidence. What Sutil should have done when faced with whatever provocation came from Lux is controlled his temper, turned on his heel and walked out.


i didn't say it did


Nothing, absolutely NOTHING justifies glassing someone!


so wayne you think he just did it for no reason - as you say it 'how could you possibly know that?' Neither of us know the exact facts but i doubt he did it for no reason.


I'm sorry, but based on what? What do you mean 'he must have been provoked' - how could you possibly know that? How do you even know he regrets it? He may well regret being caught! What we do know is that he is guilty of attacking someone - who needs friends like that!


Lewis was obviously legally advised not to go, not because of the bogus story about team launch etc. Lewis and McLaren did not want to be associated with this person, or called to the stand to be asked specific questions that would have, by their mere association to Sutil, tie Lewis further into this sad event. He was dead right not to even be seen with this event. And with the start of the season rolling on, will soon be overtaken by other events for the media to comment on.


Liam,your reasonable conclusions will hardly resonate with Hamilton detractors.


Yes, I'm sure the reason for Hamilton's betreyal is PR. That doesn't shine a good light on Hammy one bit. And to highlight what I think is the main point again, to cut off all contact with Sutil in his time of need is way beyond the pale in my honest opinion.

Moments like this one really show the true essence of one's character.


Sutil was angry about Hamilton dropping him completely because the authorities were investigating Sutil. Not about not appearing in court.

And let's be honest, you stick with your friends, especially when they are down. You do not change your phone number, erase all existence, make it impossible to contact and let your dad send him a good luck message.

That is what cowards and weak-minded people do who are egocentric and think about their own feelings and careers only.

Also, McLaren suddenly pulling the Autosport article is censorship at its worst. Clearly it was said, Autosport is not going to make up stuff but McLaren PR saw the disaster it would create and went around lying about it and how it was all made up.

Easy really, let the Autosport journo release the audio of he interview.

This is the reason McLaren has this image of fake, corporate, politically correct so-and-sos.


Don't know how much you know, but you need to understand corporate brands and sponsorship rules. Also there are two sides to a story, Sutil messed up big time and if he wants a pat on the back or well wishers then Im afraid I would not walk the plank for any of my closest mates after a GBH.....


@Merlin comments re: Lewis as per @Marc above. On the subject of McLaren censorship, @ScarbsF1 and @PeterWindsor of #TheFlyingLap seem to be suggesting that it was a totally fake interview through a source unchecked by Autosport (e.g. very poor journalism in this easy information access computer age). It was strange to me that the comments were reported to be from the head of McLaren Advanced Composites and not someone a tad closer to the race team ie Paddy, Jonathan, Tim or even Martin, agree?




Do you still stick by your friends after they stab someone in the neck with a glass? I don't think I would.


No. People should not blindly stick by their friends regardless of their actions. Sutil has been found guilty, he attacked someone. Perhaps Lewis WAS doing Sutil a favour by not attending. If he had attended he would probably have needed to testify that Sutil did exactly what he was accused of!


Its not a question of sticking blindly with someone, its a question of 'handling' the situation so that you can at least withdraw honorably.

Not lie transparently about - 'something I can't get out of'.

Good driver/team maybe, but I've lost alot of respect for them over this - and I personally wouldn't want to be associated with people with this displayed level of integrity, irrespective if it was the right thing to do or not.

Not the person/people I thought they were.

PS - I used to do this sort of thing for a living and if this is the standard of world class PR's these days, I think everything they say about education in Britain today is true. Woefully inadequate.


Then Sutil would be happy that Hamilton didn't testify. Doesn't seem to be the case, though.


Hi James, sorry for the off topic post but.... Would you be interested in writing a piece about the number of 'pay' drivers in F1, perhaps even clarifying what you believe fairly classifies a driver as 'pay' in a sport where half second over four miles probably separates the best from the ‘worst’ in simple terms? Massa has commented recently that there are too many pay drivers in F1 and, considering that F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport, I could not agree more. The size of your benefactors’ banks balance should not be the determining factor on your entry into F1, for safety reasons if nothing else! However, I do realise that it is precisely the size of a benefactor's bank balance that gets most drivers through all the lesser formulas to arrive in F1 in the first place; Hamilton backed by McLaren for example – However Lewis’ talent alone keeps his seat whereas Bruno Senna is backed by the wealthiest business man in Brazil who recently announced that he would do whatever it takes financially to keep Senna in F1. This cannot be right, can it?


Yes I would, but I think we'll look at that once we know a bit more about them, maybe in the early flyaway races.

That said it's not a new phenomenon in F1, especially during an economic downturn


Not sure about the McLaren bashing that you make there, but your comments about Lewis are definitely off the mark. I don't really barrack for Lewis at all. But he was right to disassociate himself to Sutil. Who wants to be known for that? The guy glassed Lux and then complains his 'friend' is a coward? Dude, take responsibility for your own actions. Apologise, make up for your indiscretion, then move on. Its over.


It is important to stick with your friends but there are limits eg if they do something so fatally harmful and stupid.

I guess Lewis could have distanced himself and not entirely cut things off (if that's supposedly what he did).


Anyone consider that perhaps the phone number change was due to Lewis really wanting a 4S or perhaps not being happy with his Telco contract? 🙂

Is it so unusual for public figure like Lewis to change numbers regularly? New car - new number. What's wrong with that system?


I've got a very famous friend...she changes her phone number nearly as often as she changes her underwear! 🙂

I think you'll find that a lot of famous people have to move about when their numbers get leaked.

Not giving Sutil his new number was probably deliberate though..he really is wanting to start the season clear of 'excess baggage'...you can call it cold, but after last season, can you blame him?


Sutil is a poor fellow.... still seeking responsibility somewhere else for his own acts and omissions.

As for Hamilton, I wish him all the best in his resolution to focus just on racing in the coming season! But given his record his ability to focus remains to be seen: As Ayrton's physical and mental coach Nuno Cobra once said, 'A wise man is not a man who knows much, a wise man is a man who does what he knows'


Really? Did you really log in to write this?

I'd like to comment on James' use of the terms

"Brickbat" and "Pelter". Now I don't purport to know every English term, but without the context I'd have no idea what either of those meant. Where did they come from?



Hi Toby,

To my understanding, James should have written that Lewis copped a peltering from the brickbat thrown by Adrian. Pelt, being to throw, usually in the plural form or implied. In the Australian context, in the primary schoolyard, the tennis ball thrown at you as hard as possible from metres was pelted, or the rain pelted down.




"Word History: The earliest sense of brickbat, first recorded in 1563, was "a piece of brick." Such pieces of brick have not infrequently been thrown at others in the hope of injuring them; hence, the figurative brickbats (first recorded in 1929) that critics hurl at performances they dislike. The appearance of bat as the second part of this compound is explained by the fact that the word bat, "war club, cudgel," developed in Middle English the sense "chunk, clod, wad," and in the 16th century came to be used specifically for a piece of brick that was unbroken on one end."


Thanks. I presume that 'pelter' is about throwing things, rather than skinning animals. I'm a geeky scientist with a rather specific vocabulary, so I guess I missed out on all the fighting talk.



Strange how you are one of the few F1 sources to be reporting this story that is doing the rounds in Germany - Sutil is probably very angry as (according to German reports) he was offered a pre-trial deal of one year on probation and would have avoided all the negative courtroom publicity so perhaps he was confident enough that witnesses were going to corroborate his version of events in court...


Surely, if Sutil's actions really were self-defence and Hamilton was a credible witness and central to the defence case then the court would have issued a subpoena to ensure his attendance. Sutil's attitude (as represented through the media) both before the case and since would make me think he is not a "firend" that you would want to stick by anyway. Perhaps Hamilton realised that his defence was weak and that honest answers to prosecution questions wouldn't present Sutil in a very good light, so was actually doing Sutil a favour in not attending. Just a thought.



Although personally, I think he should have been called.

It is a pretty poor state of affairs where individuals can choose to give evidence based on their schedules.


Corroborate what? Either the evidence was he glassed the guy or not. What other defence is their for those actions? Even swinging a punch was more manly and understandable than glassing the guy. Talk of cowards? Sutil is the coward here.


Good on Lewis,

Sutil could have killed the guy and has a go at Lewis for not coming to his defence.

Enjoy your time in Indy, Nascar, or wherever!


Serious questions on the type of person Hamilton is as it clearly seems apparent that he was going to back up Sutil on his version of events then suddenly last minute declines when it would appear other convincing evidence appears? as I have said on another post Mclaren surely would not stand in the way of a justice defining case such as that? course they would not if in the apparent case of Hamilton's statement clearing his not guilty friend. Whether he felt intimidated into the case or not he should not have been ready to stand in defence which clearly seems to be the case going by Sutil's rant clearly pointing towards what would have been Hamiltons backing. F1 does not need any of that 2 type of persons presence if that is the case.


Actually it seems to me that most of this was playing out in the background towards the end of last season.

An, at the time cryptic comment, in an interview on the BBC, A.Hamilton gave (in response to what was going on with Lewis)now makes perfect sense. It also explains his Lewis needs Management support comment- which most of us ended up attributing to his relationship probs.

This was a major issue with Lewis state of mind and thus form and may have even have been the trigger for relationship break up.

I was miffed with Whitmarsh at the time thinking he had exposed Lewis personal biz to the media but now I suspect it was in terms of a lesser decoy to distract attention and they all, A.Hamilton;Whitmarsh and who knows who else must have closed ranks to protect and get him to understand how serious the stakes where in direct tension to what Sutil wanted from him.

The no show was neither last minute nor unexpected.

There was nothing testimony wise Lewis could have provided to support Sutil without perjuring himself. So he was either hoping Lewis being visibly involved would trigger support from the big boys (who unfortunately chose a diff approach to what he wanted) or was plain right looking for the "morale support" of his friend while they both sunk.


it was'nt his idea to stand in defence sutil called on him to.So can u people get off the anti Hamilton band wagon and admire the talent...he so surely has thx.


They couldnt have been real friends because a real friend would want to help his mate out.


You don't lie to save a mate when others saw exactly what happened. What could Lewis actually say anyway? There would have been nothing to say that would have saved Sutil, with the final result being Lewis being dragged into this event on Sutil's side merely by association. Lewis was right to step aside.


So you say Lewis is not involved now with all we are talking about Lewis and Sutil's friendship? That's better?

And, how do you know there would have been nothing to say that would have saved Sutil? were you there? Maybe Lux' some comments -if any- might have triggered the incident?


Well, perhaps what Hamilton would have said in court would not have helped Sutil out at all?

Perhaps he was protecting him by distancing himself and not showing up?

Who knows; anyway let's go racing!


The victim Eric Lux wanted Sutil to pay a price


Actually I think Eric Lux wanted to ruin Sutil's career and from the looks of it, the sadist seems to have succeeded.

Look, what happened in the night club was an accident, end of story!

Anyway I agree, Lewis did wrong with his mate, you never turn your back to a mate when they need you but I guess Mclaren's legal team are more to blame since they must have told Lewis to stay away & Lewis being Lewis, he always does what he's told e.g. Australia 2009 liegate.

On a different note, am really worried for Lewis' rivals for we're watching the second coming right infront of our eyes for Papa Hamilton warned his rivals already to watch out for the new Lewis in 2012 and infact on closer inspection, one can see a raging fire burning in his eyes ---> Hell has no fury like a Hammy scorned.

So yes, the Lewis Hammy telenovela that was the 2011 season was in hindsight a blessing in disguise.

As for Lewis' contract, the fact that he wants to race the first couple of races before signing on the dotted line, couldn't be a clearer warning to the team i.e. If the car isn't on the pace, I walk.

Personally, I hope he doesn't sign, Mclaren haven't had the fastest since the Senna days back in the early 90s that is if you discount Mika's Newey cars and Kimi's unreliable Newey cars


That Mclaren Applied Technology boss should be fired like yesterday.

Never have I ever read such rubbish, talk about friendly fire.

What I wonder is, didn't he watch the Indian GP where Sebi was untouchable, what about Singapore, Korea & Brazil and lets not forget, Sebi in most races used to pace himself at the front so we didn't really see the full ability of that Red Bull.

Just cause Red Bull's qualifying advantage was eroded towards the end of the season, that car was still bloody quick in the race trim especially at after the start, on full tanks & soft tyres.


Yes, there has been numerous (if slightly tenuous) reports that it was accidental. I heard Sutil tried to throw his drink over Lux and got it horribly wrong.

James, your comparison is ridiculously exagerrated. Murder has been part of common law in the UK since the middle ages.

Accidently wounding someone (although the gash was nasty) is completely different.

Anyway, I agree with goferet and others. They were really good friends - as in Sutil was his best friend on the grid - I'm sure Lewis wanted to help but McLaren said otherwise.


"...you never turn your back to a mate..."

Seriously? So if a friend of yours commits an unprovoked violent murder you'd stand by them? If they ring you up at 2AM and ask you to help hide a body you'd pop round and help dig the hole as you wouldn't want to turn your back on a mate?

I'm all for loyalty between friends but your comment is just dumb.


in this case the mate did not commit an unprovoked murder. what really happened is not clear, but there have been reports that lux was pushing sutil, and sutil tried to push him back and accidentally hit him with the class. those reports also suggest that lux was the one who started the confrontation. i wasn't there, so i can't comment on that, but lewis was. so if he considered it unwise to appear in court, than the least he could do is talk to his friend and explain his reasons. that is usually what people do, who are in possession of a spine and know what is right from wrong. if you feel that your friend has nobody but himself to blame and did something that was stupid and wrong, you tell him that.

still, i don't know what happened so i won't judge neither hamilton, nor lux, nor sutil.

i just think that what little transpired of the event to the public does not suggest that sutil went all reckless in that club, and started stabbing people like a lunatic. it rather appears to have been a series of misshaps.


I do agree that the facts in this case are unclear and whilst I agree that if a mate does wrong you tell him so, but that has it's limits based on your own values. I think had I seen a mate seriously injure a person with broken glass, intentionally or not, I would have certianly found myself telling them what an idiot they were and probably, intentionally or not, distancing myself from them as a mate.

Let's not forget that the friendship of 2 F1 stars with a court case in the mix is very unlike any friendship most of us will experience; with lawyers, agents and team management all likely getting involved from very early on influencing the actions and words of both Sutil and Hamilton.


Hamilton was either very wise to distance himself from the Sutil/Lux event, or very disloyal. It all depends what actually happened in that nightclub.

Problem is that unless we were witnesses we don't know what happened, and it would be unwise to comment. So I won't.

I hope others don't jump to conclusions.


I agree, and would like to add that it also depends on if Hamilton assured Sutil that he would back him in court.


Well done Quercus. This is the first comment that's more sensible than most! I believed Adam Cooper with his (SpeedTV) website article implying Sutil was largely innocent (see my post on the other 'Sutil Found Guilty' article), but I must admit it's strange then that Hamilton decided not to go and speak in his defense if he was innocent. Therefore, I'd guess that he's decided to give up on his friendship with Sutil (just one person) in order to not piss off a load of other perhaps more important people - friends of Lux for example. You never know, one day, he might be after a drive with another team, and Lux might be involved with that decision!!


Well said. Wishful thinking, but none-the-less well said.


Fully agree with this. So far comments have come down on one side or the other.

Truth is, depends what happened - Hamilton could have the opinion that Sutil was very much at fault - in which case, staying away and saying nothing is actually the best he could do for Sutil.


I don't think what happened in the club matter much, what matters to Sutil is Lewis backing off and not offering his support.

If Sutil was counting on Lewis as a witness, then probably Lewis promissed Sutil he will come to the trial.

But in the end, I think Lewis is sorry for all this and I don't think it was his call not to contact or go to the trial. They've been friends for a long time. I think he was told not to have anything to do with it.


Its clear he was going to appear at the trial then back tracked when it became either completely clear through video or clear enough through conflicting evidence in which it would give the clear image on Hamilton. Sorry but too late not only has Sutil lost his F1 career but Hamilton himself has gave a very clear image on the type of person he is.


Exactly Robert and to defend someone (which it would certainly appear Hamilton was going to do) under the circumstances is absolutely terrible. Theres no way he should be allowed to walk from this unscathed Sutil's actions on the night were quite likely to be out of character and under the influence (think that was prob a lot of why it was a suspended sentence) i.e. Dont do it again! where as Hamilton's what appear to be intentions were clearly going to be to aid Sutil until pretty much the final hour his reaction to distance from it should have been instant if not like the next day not months later!

Its absolutely indespicable.


Logic tells me that Lewis' testimony would have assisted in Sutil's defense. Sutil never blamed another person for his action in the club, but he did expect that the eye witness, which is his "friend", will testify to allow the judge to take ALL actions into account.

If Sutil was my friend, and I was the eye witness, and I believe that my testimony will aggravate his case, I would have told him so and then Sutil would know that I will not testify for him. Sutil believed that Hamilton will testify for him and clearly was very upset because he did not.

We can speculate as much as we like, but there are people who know the truth and they know why they acted the way they did and they will be responsible for these actions, good or bad.


And again why would the team stand in the way of something like that? they clearly would not so the repercussions it could have on there image if it became clear Hamiltons evidence would be critical to Sutil being found innocent at a later date he was found innocent and they withheld Hamilton from attending. Simply don't add up well!


end of the day thats his call so either way he should have gave his version of events regardless concidering the seriousness of it all bit strange backing out last minute certainly does not help the case regardless of outcome, remember he was apparently a very good friend of Sutil so if his evidence/statement (or apparent)going by Sutil's rant it was clearly going to be in Sutil's favour. But certainly puts big Qs on Hamiltons personality etc etc simply due the timing of it all why not distance immediately after the event or very soon after. Think about it folks!


We welcome your contributions, but please put punctuation in your sentences and split longer posts up into paras. It's impossible to read like this. We won't allow unformatted posts like this through in future

Also please do not put any swear words in the posts, even with **@ substituted for letters. These won't pass either Thanks - Mod


You're talking like Hamilton was going to lie for Sutil. No matter what evidence has come out lately, Hamilton would've said his version on how he saw the incident.

I don't believe for a second that Lewis backed out because of the new evidence or anything. I think he was told not to have anything to do with it. Ofc in the same time knowing that his testimony would not change anything.


Honor among today's generation is based on 'what have you done for me lately' or possibly 'what you may be able to do in the future' -- no winners here.


Or how about it's the same as its alway been - take responsibility for your own actions.


Sutil - suck it up man. You were invited to someone's party and brought trouble with you. Unintended or otherwise - you're not a child and should bare consequence for your actions.

Don't blame Lewis for not wishing to take sides in this one. It was your problem with Lux - you work it out like a man. In a few years maybe you'll see it differently.


I was never a fan of Sutil, but I am with him on this one, Lewis is indeed a coward.

"He has changed his phone number. I could not reach him any more.” Would someone honest and sincere act like this? NO!!!

Deeds speak louder then words (sweet PR talk), Lewis showed more then once his true colours, and it casts a dark shadow on those who still support him.


Crap! If you read the article, Lewis has been advised not to comment because of a possible appeal from Sutil and so his advice is correct.

Now I wonder why he changed his number? maybe so his old girlfriend can't call him again or any number of people who distracted him last year - who knows? We don't. so don't speculate.

McLaren pay his wages and he must honour that commitment and if you read the article further, Lewis said he would listeb to Sutil - but maybe he would like to chat to him in private.

Anyway, Sutil sowed his own seeds of trouble when he was out of order at the party.

Just thought I would try and add balance here.


To be fair, we don't know why Lewis changed his number. He must have a LOT of important people in his address book who need to reach him, so to change your number is quite a big decision to make - I find it hard to believe he did so JUST to avoid Sutil alone! (Given all his personal problems, he's probably got a lot of people he'd like to change his number to avoid! He may have decided he didn't want to hear from Massa calling to ask him to use his new better Mirrors in 2012!) 😉


This quote from a certain J Neale really has me worried for McLaren's chances this year.

"There have been a number of operational issues we've needed to get fixed and some of the changes we're making in our line-up and some of the processes - and bringing people like (former Williams technical director) Sam Michael on board (as sporting director) - are aimed at tackling some of those issues."

I don't know why this aspect of Sam's appointment to McLaren hasn't been covered much, but this is the same Sam Micheal who made numerous gaffes and wrong operational decision with Williams. It does not bode well in my opinion.


James, do you think Lewis did the right thing by avoiding or leaving Sutil in the dark as I feel Sutil was in the club on that night to celebrate Lewi's Chinese GP Win..


If somebody comes to celebrate my birthday with me, has one too many and, beyond my control gets in his car drunk and mows somebody down on the side of the road, am I then obliged to try and defend the guy in court even though I know what he did was wrong?

What some people seem to be ignoring is the possibility that Hamilton knows too well that Sutil was in the wrong and did not want to get involved in a scandal of lies that would have damaged his career far more that the Aussie GP of 2009, finished it even.


Regarding the Sutil situation, it's a no-win for Hamilton isn't it? He's incurred Suitl's wrath for not appearing, but can you imagine the tabloid headlines if he had testified on Sutil's behalf - "Hamilton Supports Convicted Felon". Damned if you do, damned if you don't...

I can't pretend to know enough about the situation to say whether I think he should have testified or not, but if his concience is clear and he can sleep at night, then for him, he's done the right thing.


It's not "damned if you, damned if you don't" in this situation. Hamilton had absolutely nothing to lose by testifying as long as he testified truthfully. He wasn't going to be asked to find Sutil either guilty, or innocent. Just what happened, as he saw it.

Now if how he saw it didn't completely back up Sutils version of the events, that's unfortunate. But doesn't excuse him from showing up to the trail where you know both parties involved, and you were present when the event occured.

No one would slag Hamilton for showing up and testifying honestly.


I have to agree with the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" statement. We can have a look at the various situations which arises no doubt because of certain tabloid newspapers or released press comments from people involved.

Hamilton testifies, Sutil convicted.

The same press release would of been released from Sutil as it had done now, Sutil (rightly or wrongly) claiming his innocence and Hamilton being the other key public figure in this case would of been targeted just as he has done now. Those on this block who dislike Hamilton would then be doing the same thing that he has now, no doubt claiming that Hamilton should not have gotten involved in this whole mess to begin with for his evidence was not needed.

Hamilton Testifies, Sutil cleared.

Again no doubt a press release this time from Mr Lux claiming how Hamilton stuck by his 'friend' Sutil and as such cleared his name, the tabloids having a field day with the aforementioned headline in the OP's comments.

Hamilton does not testify, Sutil convicted.

Situation that presents itself now.

Hamilton does not testify, Sutil cleared.

This is the only one where i can see no backlash for Hamilton, though this clearly depends on Sutil's frame of mind at this point, and if the relief from not being convicted over powers the fact that Hamilton did not testify. Though if not these comments would be here.

In my opinion i think Hamilton was right to stick by him, it shows his attitude is focused on racing rather then getting mixed up in other peoples affairs. I also think that he is getting a lot of unnecessary flack for this decision, if his evidence was considered vital by either the prosecution or the defense then he would have had to attend, as such they believed they had enough evidence without his testimony to do so.

Remember there was more then three people in that club at that time, no doubt in the very VIP section, Hamilton no doubt would of just reiterated what other people would of said. If he didn't and Sutil was angry, then maybe it shows that he expected Hamilton to put a spin on things?


Edit: In my opinion i think Hamilton was right not* to stick by him


Very sad indeed. It's open to question how much Lewis' testimony would have helped, but making an appearance wouldn't have hurt and it may be something he comes to regret further down the line. Meanwhile, Adrian Sutil faces an uncertain future for at least the duration of his sentence and Eric Lux has to put it behind him and move forward. I only hope for all involved it doesn't have a permanent effect.


Mmmm, I think Sutil is the person at fault here, for assaulting a man and then leaving him bleeding. Maybe he should take the plank out of his own eye before taking a shot at Hamilton.


Funny really, When Lewis first came into F1 I really liked the lad.

Not being famous myself, I can't really understand the whole being thrust into the public eye thing, but lewis seem hell-bent on self destruction. I mean [mod] leaving somebody he called a friend to the wolves... Just doesn't sit right with me somehow. I think his father should put him over his knee and give him a sound thrashing with a really huge humility stick!


Umm... Sutil did it to himself, its is own fault that he was in court, not anybody elses. He should have taken it as man and shut up. Hes trying to blame other people for problems of his own making.


As the article says.

There are NO WINNERS.


Sutil knows as well as anyone that F1 is a business. Lewis's sponsors don't want their brands tarnished by this incident so it's no surprise that he's keeping well clear.

As for their personal relationship, if a friend of mine got wasted and glassed someone at my party, I probably wouldn't be too impressed.


Agree with you - the bottom line - Lets not detract from the seriousness of this affair - Sutil is very lucky Lux didn't die. So many others on here with opinions but only those there knew what happened. Also Sutil has been found "Guilty" therefore Sutil is saying that Lewis doesn't want to be a friend with someone who glasses others, or is he saying he's innocent. Methinks Lewis's non attendance points the finger of guilt.


Someone said it was a simple wound on Lux. No it was not. If it was, it would not have gone into a court. The last I heard, it was few inches wide and deep enough to be life threatening if it was close to the throat. To do such an act and then leave that person to suffer is really inhuman. Do not know what Hamilton tried to do then. Did he just walk off with Sutil or stayed back? I think his action there shows more about him rather than his avoiding Sutil himself.

Also as someone else said above: Hamilton is either being wise or being disloyal. If Sutil was really to be blamed for this issue, Hamilton did well by avoiding such a "friend" who brings trouble to you. Don't you make and break friends if they are not of your way of thinking/acting? If Sutil was not to be blamed for this issue, then Hamilton is a coward.


I'm not taking sides in this one. But factually - Lux showed me the photos of him in the Shanghai hospital on his Blackberry when we were at Monaco. The wound looked horrendous. His biggest gripe was not so much how it happened but that Sutil's group walked off and left him like that. If it was "an accident", surely all the more reason to help, regardless of the row that preceded the injury?


Thanks James for the additional info, which is what we need before jumping to conclusions. I appreciate you not taking sides, this is a minefield! I'm still confused about the incident itself and 'who started it' and all that (again, ref Adam Cooper's implication Sutil was not so guilty). It sounds more like Lux is vindictive because of what happened afterwards (i.e. no concern from Sutil) but I wonder if it's possible for you to comment on Lux's attitude when he spoke to you and his opinion of who provoked the attack?


He was very angry. He didn't really say anything about what happened and how it happened. And as there is CCTV footage of it one side's account versus another on that is kind of moot.

The court found Sutil guilty, draw your own conclusions.


Fair enough I suppose. But just consider the resources that Mr. Lux and his lawsuit have consumed.

There is no question that Mr. Lux's pursuit of a court case has cost both him and Mr. Sutil many thousands of dollars (lawyers, travel, etc.).

Also, think of the various other individuals and teams that have (wisely) spent significant sums to receive counsel regarding any risk or involvement.

Lastly, consider the public costs of the court (judges, clerks, security, and all manner of support staff). Very simply, those costs more than equal the annual household taxes for the average household.

So, imagine some hardworking family dutifully paying their taxes - only to have their entire contribution to their country be diverted from health care, education, and security to serve the whims of a man in search of a "personal apology."


I think there is no excuse for what Sutil did. Reports said the wound required 24-25 stitches which is serious.

Being upset at Hamilton publicly like this isn't great either. Think Sutil needs some PR control asap.


If the man ie Hamilton was a witness, regardless of who's side he supported, he had a duty to step up like a man and tell the court. The folks here who are like, yeah he saw something, but he should keep his mouth shut so as to not jeopardize his packet, need to grow up! As for Sutil, I feel back for him but know that he was there and was responsible for the incident.


Spot on! You step up, like a man, and do the right thing: Tell the Truth. Whether it aids or harms your friend is neither here nor there, but at least have the guts to give your version of events.!

But Hamilton, as we saw through the whole of last year, is still a little boy.

I liked the guy when he stepped into F1-but his true character has shown through the years-and it's pretty pathetic.

Grow up son!


All this about Ham and McLaren doesn't surpirise me. They have a history of being evasive and telling porky pies.


...Just like a number of other drivers & Teams!

Alonso? Schumacher? And by far the worst..



Ferrari?? McLaren are clear cut champions in tis field. I can't see thir actions of 2007 ever being surpassed.


Without wanting to drag up 2007, there are still a number of questions to be asked about the whole situation. Ron has said that eventualy the truth will come out...I think someone may have to pass away before it does though!

It does amuse me that Mike always gets it in the neck for handling the 'documents'..he didn't break into Ferrari's HQ...a disgruntled Ferrari employee (Nigel Stepney) gave them to him.

I'm certainly not claiming that McLaren are angels but Ferrari are constantly telling blatent porkies..."No, our new front wing is not flexing"..."Fenando is faster than you"..."Ferrari do not operate team orders"..

The list goes on & on.


Yes, Hamilton, Alonso, Schumacher as well as McLaren and Ferrari are the worst. A not honourable mention of Briatore too. And Pat Simmonds. And that McLaren chap known from the copy shop.


Re Bru72

Welllllllllllll, I don't think Coughlan was the first, he certainly wasn't the only one, and for sure he won't be the last.


Mike Coughlan. How he is allowed to work in F1 again is beyond belief.


So what you are saying is F1 is a bit of crazies and egocentrics all grouped together so they will not run wild in the streets.

BE gives them an outlet...called racing...what is that saying ..every two weeks a race breaks out!!!


Not the first time Lewis has thrown others under the bus....


Please read post 29 by Sascha and maybe go to another throw away comment forum, might be more you.


I guess Hulkenberg (and/or Senna) could be the a winner. Remember, the last time a current F1 driver was convicted of assault, a young German sports car racer named Schumacher stood in for him at the next GP ...


Didn't Senna provide a character reference for Gashot as well, and was disappointed that no one else in F1 did for him? Hamilton not quite living up to his idol here...


as long as we have not heared Lewis side of the story we should not judge over him.

Sutil at least had the chance to defend himself. We should Lewis give the same chance.

Sutil brought himself in this situation, he was found guilty, because of the fact he did what he did.

IMo it was a wise decission not to turn up at the court, and maybe McLaren and their sponsors and shareholders were not too keen to get involved in this matter, it would have created a lot of bad PR and media attention . Theey probably told Lewis to stay away.

Or Lewis stuck with thre old saw.

"If you have to say nothing good you better say nothing."

It's an unfortunate story for all parties involved. It could have been avoided if Adrian had been man enough to apologise to Lux personally by time.

He should not call others cowards, if he himself was too cowardly to go to Lux and apologise.


as long as we have not heared Lewis side of the story we should not judge over him.

Sutil at least had the chance to defend himself. We should Lewis give the same chance.

Sutil brought himself in this situation, he was found guilty, because of the fact he did what he did.

IMo it was a wise decission not to turn up at the court, and maybe McLaren and their sponsors and shareholders were not too keen to get involved in this matter, it would have created a lot of bad PR and media attention . Theey probably told Lewis to stay away.

Or Lewis stuck with thre old saw:

"If you have to say nothing good you better say nothing."

It's an unfortunate story for all parties involved. It could have been avoided if Adrian had been man enough to apologise to Lux personally by time.

He should not call others cowards, if he himself was too cowardly to go to Lux and apologise.


I'm honestly bemused this is getting traction on this (august) website. Any sane person in Lewis's shoes would do the same. Get away from the nonsense. Focus on racing. Make people come up with the usual excuses for you beating your team-mate to a pulp, reminiscent of last year's race in Germany. Win the championship. Go Lewis!


You have a good point, makes me think of myself: normally I hate all the politics and want to concentrate just on the racing, yet I am drawn into this story somehow, probably because (a) I'd like to hear all the facts first and hate it when people are jumping to conclusions before having them, and (b) (Sadly this IS involving the damn politics!) I'm sorry for Sutil's career being quite possibly ruined (bearing in mind the incident had nothing to do with his racing career), by one guy who, although suffering a bad wound, has the power to do so.


We cover all subjects from technical to business to strategy to driver personal. It's all part of the great pageant. We just don't do tittle tattle


Lewis just wanna keep his options open with Lotus / Genni in case he gets the boot @ McLaren, pretty obvious isn't it, Mr. Sutil? LOL. You are responsible for your own downfall, not anybody else.

Tornillo Amarillo

James, who is more preoccupied for Hamilton's contract renewal, McLaren or himself?


THat is a fantastic question. I'd say both need each other at this stage.


They both need each other ?

What, like a hole in the head.

Not trying to be flippant, but I would think that McLaren spent alot of time and effort last year keeping LH on the rails at the weekends. To make all that added work worthwhile there has to be an element of payback - in terms of not only immediate results but perhaps also some signs of a growing re-maturity and application that would indicate at least the possibility of a consistent year ahead.

I don't believe that I'm writing this about H but that doesn't seem to be there at the moment, and even if the right words are now being uttered, exactly what has changed this year to last.

Same girlfriend, same trans-atlantic relationship, same management.

Good luck and all that but I think the jury is still out.

H is one of maybe only 4 drivers at the moment that are dead cert world champs given half a sniff of it. BUT there still seems to be an awful lot ready to go wrong at the drop of a hat.

With Button strong enough to lead now and deliver results, they don't necessarily need someone now that brings all that baggage, however propmising they may be.

Its a very fine balance, but it'll make for an interesting year.


Certainly seems a lot more Mature and sensible than Hamilton not to mention he is proven he has already proven his Ability beating the current benchmark Vettel in the same team same car in GP2 to take the title and he is most arguably the current Benchmark "i dont agree but" so i think he is certainly a option for any team got to take what he did at DTM into account too in only his second season especially as he has always came up through the single seat formula's prior then to step into a F1 car all be it a midfield one to do respectably well. He is the one to watch this season.


Button was not able to have a clear shot for the WDC with a nearly error free season. What has Button could have done better?

Lewis had a bad season, and still as many wins as Button, and clearly outqalified him 13:6.

The question is would Lewis have had a chance for WDC with a better season?

IMO yes.

Di Resta is unproven to be WDC material, to take him over Lewis would be plain stupid.


I feel he was very close to losing his drive around about the time of his pit lane rant Graham.

I have said for the last 2 seasons that Schumacher is only wearing in Di Resta's seat at Mercedes and i reckon they would be quite happy for De Rista's profile/ability to not stand out as much as it does to many.

I wonder how close he may have come to landing in Hamiltons seat? i reckon given the chance no matter what he is sort of due mercedes back in loyalty if a seat at Mclaren or Ferrari came on offer he is in it regardless of Mercedes offering a seat in response.

I really feel the world is going to stand up to get quite a surprise at not just where De Rista is heading but what he is going to achieve in the right car better than Alonso and kubica though? Big question.

Tornillo Amarillo

Thank you James for your answer.

So it could certainly be it's just a matter of how many years of contract for Hamilton (Jason having a "multi-year contract"), and maybe how many millions $ per year...

Hamilton winning a race in the beginning 2012 could be strongly convincing in the negotiation with the Team.


Who is Jason?


I reckon if Button out scores him this season he is gone. And of course lets see how he performs on then track other than results, as ever what he has to say for himself at the track.

And of course how he behaves etc in his personal life!

Cant see him getting a new contract until at least a few months until its clear any repercussions of this court saga are clear, and of course based on if he is at least clearly beating Button and also in at least top 3 after a handful of races.


I think they would do well to be rid of him and let some fresh less complicated blood in!


Fact - Man ended up in hospital, needing many stitches.

Opinion - Various people who have seen CCTV say it was accident as a result of aggressive behaviour by Lux.

My view - No idea what actually happened, but if a friend of mine was in court, facing a possible jail sentence, trying to prove his innocence, and asked me to be a witness, I'd move heaven and earth to be there. Work commitments would not keep me away.

Either Lewis is a poor friend, or Sutil overstates their friendship.

I don't know, but I can understand Sutil's indignation. He thought Hamilton was a true friend, but Hamilton clearly had a different view of their friendship.


Yes, but if that friend took an action that you strongly disagreed with and that action resulted in a potentially life-threatening wound to another human being, surely there would be some internal moral dilemna to deal with?

For me, however strong the friendship, if someone did something that was both morally and legally wrong I would take the same action as Lewis and say that the court has to deal with it. If called, I would have to tell the truth as I saw it. That would most surely end the friendship anyway, unless that friend is big enough to hold his hands up and say "yes, I was wrong, please forgive me". Haven't seen that from Sutil.


Oh, and an apology from that friend for putting you into that position would be a sign that the friend valued the friendship. Has Sutil done that either?


I completely agree. Some of the opinions here are bordering on ridiculous. I guess its easy to talk about "being a man" from behind ones computer screen. Only a fool would think Lewis would lie under oath so Sutil would never expect him to lie. Sutil obviously knew there was video footage, so ppl that theorize he wanted Lewis to lie are just not logical.

He was found guilty but not of trying to murder a man... The penalty is basically a fine and a warning for good behavior. If he methodically attacked him it would have been a severe penalty. Sutil says Hamilton's dad even contacted him to offer support but Hamilton did not even offer a word. That says it all. We all know what it means to be a friend. I must have wandered into a world where people blindly think a driver they like is a good person... I doubt Sutil would make this up. It was obviously a bad accident, people can and do get found guilty of accidents, they aren't criminals, and he is paying for it... Lets not go overboard in judging him.


I endorse your view and condemn everyone who endorse otherwise.


According to one of the reports by some one who saw the video Hamilton was sitting right nest to Sutil when it happened.


Hard to know what to make of the whole Sutil situation, without knowing the full details of what went on in the night club.

But as I understand it, Hamilton and Sutil were actually great friends. So it does seem quite disloyal and harsh of Hamilton if he changed his phone number and cut-off all contact from his friend.

Fair enough if Hamilton didn't want to testify, but you think he would at least have a conversation with Sutil, to let Sutil know his intentions, and maybe offer his friend some moral support.

As for Sutil, I can understand his frustration, but really not sure what he hopes to accomplish by making all of this public and dragging his former friend into it. Best to just put it all behind him and try to get his career back on track!

To be honest, neither of them sound like friends I'd like to have.


My support for Lewis has been gradually dwindling and now slips a further notch after this letdown of his friend. For this reason I have quit the McLaren Club on their website.

It leaves just a bad taste. I feel quite neutral toward Lewis, disinterested.


A further thought on Lewis' failing to show in court ... he may not want to be cross examined, and in that case if I was his counsel I'd tell him not to front.


And if I was Sutil's counsel I'd excuse him from testifying.


"What would you do if I sang out of tune,

Would you stand up and walk out on me?

Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song

And I'll try not to sing out of key."

"Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends

Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends

Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends"

Well, I guess not...


My understanding is that he wasn't being asked to go to Court to be a "character witness" for Sutil, he was called to Court to simply give an account of what he did (or didn't) witness : simple as that.

JA : Has anyone (to your knowledge) asked him to explain why he chose to not appear ?? If so, did he duck the question or account for his actions/decision ?

This really does contribute to my increasing view that there is something NQR about this guy. Great racer. Odd personality.


You just cannot walk in to a court as you like and give testimony.You must be subpoenaed. Lewis was going to be available if needed but, since the facts spoke for themselves he wasn't called. I think the case being tried was whether or not Sutil committed GBH on Lux, nothing else. The video answered that question. A DWI just depends on your being over the limit, not by how much or why, if you get the analogy.


Its not like he was lewis best mate they was with each other all the time.He was just someone he races with.That hes got close to well at the track.If my mate had glassed somebody I would not lie in court for them it would be best for me and for him just to stay away.

PS-The new car looks great hope it goes great and great blog james check it out every dinner break


Sutil behaves himself like he is a part of street gang, think LH did all the correct, and perhaps he did change his number because he knew Sutil's tough temper and just avoided unnecessary troubles. Any frank statements could finaly turn against Lewis, considering his fate. He got much important task this year than this trial.

Riccardo Consulini

So much for a friend. Now we know why the list of Lewis'friends grows thin. He just doesn't care for anyone or anything.

Good luck Lewis. You are gonna need it.


No winners indeed:

But Sutil has come out not only with a criminal conviction but the impression that he is either not smart or not being advised smartly.

He should have taken every opportunity to sort it out directly with Lux at the initial stage– I can even imagine Hamilton giving him this advise because that is exactly what he does himself whenever he is in trouble.

The manager gave such a positive spiel last week, I for one, was surprised Sutil was convicted. Was their confidence in being acquitted based on just one witness testimony? Then it was never a strong case at all - what about all the other witnesses that testified? All the more reason not to have let it get that far-Silly Man.

If the rumours of the video evidence not being conclusive are true then he should appeal pronto. (In which case mouthing off to the press about the one witness your case may benefit from appearing is not very clever-although one gets the impression that “did not see what happened” might have been the most positive testimony for the defence). There is also the issue of Chinese jurisdiction and so on-surely this lends itself to some technicalities? While I have some sympathy for Lux getting injured, Sutil losing his job is enough of a punishment for a situation that had fault from both protagonists.

Sutil focus on getting yourself a good lawyer to dig up any technical irregularities and a terrier of a Barrister to undo the prosecution witnesses! Don’t go down this media frenzy feeding route!!!

The other thing I found interesting was that Anthony Hamilton sent him a text. I am sure there is some sympathy from those quarters and while one can understand his frustration with his former friend he would have been best advised not alienating the Hamiltons at this stage, who knows how useful a sense of obligation or sympathy can be later on..

but like I said at the start, he is coming out of this not a very clever person – which might explain to some extent why, even with his racing ability, he has never really progressed his career appropriately and has found himself in this kind of situation to start with.


Given that he is in the F1 driver management business, I'm not sure Anthony Hamilton will appreciate his personal message being made public. He may want to negotiate a driver contract with Lux or his people one day.


Remember that Anthony Hamilton is Paul Di Resta's manager whom still has a contract with Force India whom Sutil until this season was a key member off, that message was no doubt generic in keeping the peace between inter team relationships and no doubt possible future relationships if Sutil gets back in F1, the text message does not surprise me at all. I find it odd that Sutil has decided to focus on this text message rather then most likely the other numerous messages he received in support, or if this being the only message received, says a lot about his case to begin with.


Sutil wont get back into F1 period mark my words! i feel sorry for the guy i believe it was completely out of character.

Intoxication in my mind was clearly the defining factor hence the lenient sentence (and it was the cash was not a justifiable factor) it was not only a conviction but a warning keep off the booze or whatever it was so to speak.

But on that things like that simply cant be happening in a circus with the profile of F1 simple as and obviously an individual has to be accountable!

Provoked?? I would think it looks very likely. I would love to know exactly what was said on that evening got a funny feeling a backed up recollection wont come out though.


Any evidence Lewis provided would be deemed inadmissible - his record of telling the truth at inquiries is rather patchy...!


Wasn't he forced by McLaren to lie? At least that's what he said. And McLaren fired some scapegoat at the time.


It was David Ryan the sporting director.


Lewis didn't stab Lux, Sutil did. He should face the consequences. Lewis didn't do anything besides being in the club at the same time. So what if Lewis didn't wish him luck for the trial, that is a personal matter between the two and should NOT be discussed over public media. That is weak from Adrian. Seriously weak.


Being a fan of lewis Hamilton, I really dont understand why Sutil should give such a statement. It has been nearly a year since the Incident happened and there was many ways to settle this issue Amicably. Had Sutil tried those we are yet to know. However not sure on the story carried by Sutil that Hamilton changed his number?. And not many people miss Sutil on the Grid. So I guess this issue is put behind and looking forwards to what might be one of a classic seasons.


The most telling comment in this whole affair came from Lux when he said that after the incident Sutil's group (including Hamilton) just walked away and left him there.

Irrespective of who did what, and especially if it was an accident, anybody stabbed in the neck (and bear in mind that if it was the charotid artery that was hit Lux would have had about 8 minutes to live) should be helped.

Now, whether it was a fear that if the police arrived they would get embroiled, the thought that their sponsers would go bonkers, or just plain panic, both S and H left a man bleeding from a severe neck wound, alone late at night in a Chinese nightclub.

Their response to this man being injured was - in good old parlance - 'to do a runner'. Not only that, they got out of the country pronto too - some 'runner'.

I'm afraid that neither Sutil nor Hamilton have particularly covered themselves in glory over this, and neither strike me as someone that I'd want by my side when the going gets tough.

At least if Hamilton had testified (either way, irrespective of which side he came down on) it would have cleared it off his agenda. He would have fronted up, told the story and closed the book.

As it is (advised to do or not) it looks like he just ran away - for a second time.

I suspect that his personal stock, and maybe his moral fibre, will be under scrutiny from many in the pit lane.

While I would instinctively 'support' Hamilton because I like the idea of a child prodigy/balls out/gutsy driver who just wants to race, I admire and respect Vettel many more times over, because of his youthful professionalism.

But I still can't get away from the idea that Hamilton's issues run far deeper. Alot of the issues surrounding him last year and through this incident appear to be self inflicted.

The advice, guidance and support that he is currently getting - from whoever - just doesn't seem to work in the environment that he finds himself in. I hope it'll get better, but I fear that 2012 could morph into 2011 part 2 if hes not careful.


Pretty accurate assessment i feel Graham but ultimately someone had to pay the price on the part they took regardless "Sutil" But there appears there was Certainly 2 and possibly 3 Guilty parties involved.

One will have to stop drinking or whatever is involved in the party scene

One Will have to think before he speaks in the future realising you cant allways hide behind your wealth/power profile.

And One will have to look at the person he is the values and opinions he generally holds and try thinking before he thinks!!



See what u have is Lux's version.

What about the version that lux came up to Sutil and initiated the aggresion?

Or the version that Hamilton's security detail realising there was trouble and bundling Hamilton out of there before the dust settled and people started getting arrested?

Without knowing the facts we all gravitate to the versions that suit our own agendas.



Can you really see Hamilton in RedBull after his comments saying that it was only a energy drink?


I cant see Hamilton ever getting a seat at Redbull Mercedes or Ferrari and doubt he would get a seat at Renault/Lotus


It's only words. Racing is business and things like that can be forgotten. He could always say it was "out of context"

If Red Bull lost Vettel, Hamilton would be the right fit for them. Can't really see them pairing them up together, though


Maybe it was Hamilton's champagne. People can hold a grudge over the waste of an expensive beverage.


Putting a bright spot light on Hamiltons character, doesn't it.

Hamilton being a coward and avoiding direct confrontations at all cost- even at the cost of getting 'some' bad PR (protected by the british press, its never much anyway) is nothing so new.

Of course Sutil is the one who started all that mess, but at least he stood up for himself. Being raised as an 'experiment' (and i'm not saying that, Whitmarsh did) Hamilton obviously lacks some social skills. And McLaren is still doing everything to keep it that way, PR robots are boring at best and laughable at times too.


If Sutil had accidently tripped and fell on Lux, smashing his glass against Lux's neck you could understand his annoyance at Hamilton not helping him in court - but that's not what happened here is it.

He got into an argument, glasses someone leaving a life threatening gash on that persons neck, then walks away. He doesn't apologies afterwards, then expects his friends to come running to help him in court.

A 'man' would have realized he had made a mistake/accident and offered to help the wounded person whilst asking someone to phone for an ambulance.

A 'coward' is someone who does something wrong then avoids accepting responsibility for his actions.


Bye Bye Sutil.

I fully support Hamilton's decision to unfriend you. A true human being wouldn't walk away from a scene after (accidently) hitting someone with a broken glass. Even if you were having an argument.


James, given that Hamilton's relationships with other drivers is already patchy, how do you think all this will affect them (if at all)?


That is an interesting question. I feel we saw some of it last year with Schumacher, Massa and Alguiseri.

Even if he got on well with the others his driving style alone wld lend itself to friction but, interestingly, he doesn't- i see fireworks

This is where Mclaren need to step in and hustle - at least let the younger drivers understand who/what they r alienating by getting in the way, they shld also set up shop at the FIA and b relentless bout complaining about any incident involving Rival teams and drivers - Forgoing all that "stoic acceptance/take it on the chin shet" that encouragess others to chance them.

This is not Whitmarsh's style so I do worry bout how issues will pan out. However, anticipating the coming season is still rather exciting and I can't wait for the games to begin.


yeah sure Sutil can say "i don't want a friend like that" and maybe Hamilton is saying "I don't want a friend who thinks it's okay to cut someone's neck with a broken piece of glass!" The only person who should have any remorse right now is Sutil and it sounds like he's got none at all


I can't see how people are defending Sutil's behaviour, regardless of Hamilton "unfriending" him. I don't care if you are my best mate - if you turn out to be a paedophile, or axe murderer, no, I don't want to be friends with you one second more!

I am not particularly a Lewis fan, but I think that Sutil needs to sort his own life out before giving LH a hard time. McLaren's lawyers have spoken to LH and given him the best legal advice, so he is probably doing as he's told.

Fact: Lux's neck suffered a severe injury caused by a broken glass.

Fact: The police have identified Sutil as the person holding the glass at the time and responsible for the incident.

Anything else is hearsay or opinion.


Lewis is not the villain and did the right thing.

His current sponsors and employers would not want to be associated with the scandal. After Liegate in Australia his reliability as a witness could have been questioned. His choices were to either offend a friend or a team manager.

Lewis is trying to move on from the distractions of last year and wants to do his talking on the track. His contract is up for renewal and he needs to be attractive to teams and sponsors. Lewis has his own career to think of and acted in his own best interest and those of his sponsors. Rightly so.

Sutil's career was over from the moment this incident ended up in court.

Nobody needs friends that glass people in nightclubs.


Hamilton has lived in a bubble since he was 12, it doesn't surprise me that he doesn't know how to relate to or treat people. As for Sutil well glassing someone is unacceptable.


You probably hit the nail on the head in a number of areas


Take F1 out, take the Hero factor out. Lets talk basic humanity here.

Firstly, Friends are to be cherished and honored. Seldom, friends truly do need us and when they do one should be there to extend their support, no questions asked, even when a friend has wronged you extend your support with a caution that he/she has wronged someone. We all need friends, some use friends and some have them as their support structure and only a fool would betray a friend in his hour of need.

In Lewis's case, firstly, he accuses everyone around for mistreating him [mod]. Then he craves for a support structure and envy's the support structure his teammate (Jenson) has, then he goes and betray's his friend in an hour of need. Now, that is the true reflection of a man with humanity deficit. He was the vital witness and his testimony could have explained Sutil side of story irrelevant to the outcome of the verdict, all he had to do was to extend his support to a friend in his hour of need. If it is a Mclaren decision for Hamilton not to support a friend in need then Mclaren should concentrate on becoming a better people... even half as good as the cars that they make would be good enough.

Irrelevant to how important Hamilton's testimony was... he should have been there for a friend to extend his support in his hour of need.

Karma is no fiction.

This trait of Hamilton is very un-capricorn like. You can't expect this from another famous capricorn - Shumacher... and he is supposedly an unjust person.... wow.


I don't go with the Karma, 'be better people', capricorn cobblers, but the rest I agree with as its basic common sense.

If you were there, you're involved. Don't try to convince yourself that you're not.


Well said indeed


So, both Sutil AND Hamilton walked off and left Lux? If so, then Hamilton has done a very wise thing by distancing himself, not only from the whole incident, but from Sutil as well.

Lux has clearly demonstrated (possibly rightly so) that it wasn't about money/compensation. He felt wronged for just being left without assistance and/or an apology there and then, and wanted to extract revenge/justice (delete as appropriate) from the protagonist(s).

Maybe Hamilton sussed out (or his team/legal council sussed out for him) that if he drew too much attention to himself, Lux might consider him at least partially guilty by association for the incident itself, and directly guilty for leaving him.

Although he couldn't prosecute Hamilton, I'm sure he could have might life difficult for Hamilton in other ways.

So, wise choice Hamilton.

Massive Lewis Hamilton fan by the way. Go Lewis!!


You could be right, but let's face it after hearing about that type of behaviour, wouldn't you feel uncomfortable meeting or talking to Lewis now.

Your thought has to wander to ....'I know what you're really like'...as you speak and try to 'make nice'. Wouldn't it make you feel a bit 'off'.


I just recalled an article I came across not too long ago. Under British law isn't there some Collective Responsibility thing whereby Lewis being with Sutil physically at the time could be prosecuted for the same crime? It was what was used in the Lawrence case.

I wonder if the same applies in Germany.

But also did not Lux release a coded warning statement - to any friends who decide to get involved --early on in the history of this saga when it became clear he was pressing charges?

If my memory serves me right then that might explain Sutil's cowardice charge and suggests that it was pretty obvious from the start Lewis would not be keen to get involved.

But then Sutil expecting Lewis to do so has to be the most bafflingly stupid thing on his part. I'm somewhat reluctant to think anyone could be that clueless.

Who the heck was advising him?


Not so sure about Sutil being stupid, he might just have thought that he 'knew LH' and credited him with a bit of morality and a backbone.

Of course, I speak without full knowledge of what passed between them and none of us really know why LH did not attend. Although I do believe that he issued a release saying that he was busy that day.

So take my 'morality/backbone' bit with a pinch of salt. he may actually posess both and there probably are some real good reasons why he didn't wan't to over amplify his role in this whole thing.


I'm assuming you're referring to the concept of joint enterprise or common purpose - and while I see where you're coming from, in this case it's unlikely to have been applied. As Lewis was not actually taking part in the act itself, or aiding and abetting it, there is no causal chain linking him to what happened. In any event, Germany does not have this doctrine as far as I am aware as it follows a civil law model, whereas this appears to be unique to common law jurisdictions. It's an interesting question though.


One thing we can be clear on is that Sutil brought a glass to the neck of Lux and caused him injury. This seemingly occurred because some drink was spilt on Sutil or something to that effect.

It does not appear that Sutil waited around after the incident to face up to it and ensure that everyone knew he regretted what happened. WHO IS THE COWARD?

This incident appeared to have had a bearing on Sutil not getting an F1 seat. Hamilton has taken a lot of heat in the past whether rightly or wrongly. He should therefore not have associated himself with Sutil or the incident thereafter. If Sutil was found guilty and Hamilton supported him it would not have helped Lewis' image or career.

It appears that there are people on this post that will support their friends whatever they do. However, I am sure a lot of people in prison got their because of their friends.

In London nowadays there are a lot of youngsters injuring and killing each other with knives and their friends cover it up, hide it and support them. We recently had someone being found guilty of a murder committed around 2 decades ago where there were around 5 youths involved. Those type of friends we dont need and Hamilton does not need.

As soon as the season start Sutil will be forgotten unless he injuries someone again.


For me that was not at all sympathetic from Hamilton. He does not need to get involved, but Sutil had been his friend for long time, he should have talked to him privately at least just to wish good luck to him. I do not think Sutil is a criminal, he did something stupid no question about it. My problem is with Hamilton his dishonesty and I don't base that opinion only on this issue, but all his behaviour and statements since he joind F1. He is always too worried about his image as is McLaren with all their PR stuff. It had been my favourite team for long time, but now I feel that they think people out there are stupid and believe all the boring PR statements and dishonest messages.


I'm surprised at the flak Hamilton is getting over this. As a potential witness (the court could have scheduled his appearence for another time) it would have been inappropriate for him to have contact with the defendant with regards to the case. As far as I can see, you have to take Mclaren's word for it that Hamilton had prior commitments as the court would surely have needed to have been provided details to corroborate.

In terms of supporting Sutil, I think once Sutil chose to glass somebody and run away it gets the point where he has to expect people to not want to associate with him anymore. Friends included.


Funny how Sutil calls Lewis a coward.

Sutil was the one who ran away like a coward after the incident occured!


I believe they both did

Am I wrong ?


The F1 gangs forced Hamilton to get rid of his father, Anthony, now they did the same with his best friend. What now, Mr. Lewis?


His CAT too!


sutil is a fool for glassing someones neck being.as an f1 driver i would expect him to know whats in his hands at all times .how many people on hear have accidently glassed someones throat while drunk.i would guess not many .he could have killed him.


Respect for yourself, Respect for others and Responsibility for your own actions. The 3R's are really quite as simple as that.


It's vital for Lewis at the juncsure to keep things on an even keel so to speak.

He will be feeling like his back is against the wall with recent happenings on and of the track (Jenson beating him, Nicole leaving him and of course the mistakes and coming togethers with Massa).

He needs/wants a clean start a fresh head no press no fuss just racing, & I for one think its the only way for him at this point in his career. Until his confidence and wins start materialising low key is the only way to fly.

Sutil seems to have pretty much made his own bed by the sound of things, what does he want Lewis to do?? one might dare too ask????

We should understand his actions and give the man some space..... What would you do if you had all those pressures (Mclaren, Sponsors, wage) & the sheer magnitude of competitiveness the F1 world brings applied on you everyday. My guess is many would FOLD........


The more I hear about Hamilton, the less I like the man....


I don't go that far because I think basically he's trying to be a decent bloke.

But he does appear to be very very confused on any number of levels, and incidents like this (the not testifying) do raise concerns about what may or may not lie beneath.


I seem to remember Hamilton tried in the off-season to remove some complication/distraction from his life and get himself in a better situation and frame of mind. Perhaps he realized Sutil was one of those distractions.


Sutil is damaged goods for F1 now. I obviously don't know the ins and outs of actually what happened, but he has been found guilty in a court of law, fined and given a suspended jail sentence. I would be surprised to see him in F1 again - talented as he clearly is. Maybe Nico Hulkenberg is the next Michael Schumacher.


So according to most of the Hamilton fans out there the minute a friend commits an action that warrants a police investigation you drop him like a bad habit. For example, if your 'best friend' who you holiday with has an car accident and seriously injures someone. Or throws a punch in a niteclub and knock someone out. Your pretty much saying all the qualities of that person that drew you to become friends are now forgotten because the guy made a mistake. Very good of you. Hopefully none of you ever are unfortunate to ever make a error of judgement that seriously injures someone and find that the best friend you were with disowns you. And i hope this post gets to be seen this time. I dont think my posts are offensive!!!Thanks


So many people are commenting about the Sutil situation when we don't know what went on. I don't know. Hamilton's actions could be perfectly reasonable or not depending upon what has gone on in the background. At the time Hamilton may have said to his friend - he's bleading over there, that was bad, you'd better go and say sorry and see what you can do and Sutil said no way I'm out of here. Or something completely different. We don't know. From the sound of Lewis's I'll listen to him comment, Lewis seems to think that Sutil has someexplaining to do so surely we should not judge Hamilton until we know what's gone on.


Typical isn't it, an F1 driver severely injures someone in a brawl and it's Hamilton making the headlines for not texting him good luck!

Maybe he didn't like seeing that side of Sutil? Or maybe he doesn't want his career tarnished by publicly supporting someone who was convicted of assualt?

It's Sutil's problem, not Hamilton's.

If one of my friends attacked someone and left them for dead, i'd certainly think twice about our friendshhip. It's indicative of who you are, commiting a crime like that.


I am surprised that a lot of people are judging without knowing anything.

May be, just may be, Sutil was not completely wrong as it took two to tango.And Lewis could have given evidence but his sponsors demanded him to stay away from that.

Or may be, Lewis really didn't like Sutil's actions. So he refused to support him.

James could you please share a little bit more about what actually happened that night.

Surely, a professional F1 driver wouldn't smash a glass at someone's neck without being severely offended.


Reading through most the posts here it all seems very swaying different things Did he didn't he should he shouldn't he etc etc think the point were missing here is its about Hamilton and its very clear he was not only considering but was going to actually testify on behalf of Sutil under such horrible nasty what was very much convicting situation and it seems so it took the discovery of a video to make him change his mind?

He should never have been considering backing the guy up in the 1st place and that is clear!


Hamilton was right.

Sutil sounds like a pain in the neck!


Wow! Some of the response in this thread.

I swear, Hamilton & Sutil are professional sportsmen. Friendship has no place in pro sport, if Sutil was offered Hamilton’s seat tomorrow what do you think he would do?

Hamilton was right, he really does not need to get involved in Sutils mess.


Hamilton, Sutil...Sutil, Hamilton yada yada yada who gives a flying lap! As a lawyer, I'm still extremely troubled by the fact that a German court can convict somebody of a felony for something that happened in China. Doesn't THAT bother anybody else?


I think all concerned would agree that the hearing took place in a European court than anywhere else in the world Considering 90% of what happens day to day etc in drivers is in Europe.

At the same time for what i think all that know Sutil "which i dont" Inc Lux would agree it was entirely out of character at the same time Sutil was clearly wrong for the reaction no doubt intoxication involved but not a excuse, I think Lux will clearly know he paid a part of what fuelled the mad moment.

I think with Sutil being German i reckon even Lux would have agreed it was best dealt within a German court i dont think Lux would have been out to destroy him as most would under the circumstances.

But he would have been wanting clarity on the situation and at very least warning i feel.


dear every user of this website,

the 'comment' button is an option, not an obligation. If you have absolutely nothing to contribute to a discussion, don't.



I didn't do it.


Top paragraph "inc drivers" sorry


Why does the most people here think. Lewis is no "true" friend?

It could easily be the other way round, and Sutil did not tell the truth to Lewis?

Why did Lewis go back and watched the video in the club?

Lewis did not change his number because of not wanting any contact with Adrian any more.

Hamilton changed his number because he moved to another country (Monaco) in the days before the trial ( confirmed from Sutils father Jorge)

Lewis was brought ou the club by his bodyguards as soon as it was apparent, something happened.

Maybe Lewis did not know about how serious Lux injuries have been?

Maybe he was already gone as Sutil left without caring for Lux?

Do we know anything about it?

Maybe Sutil was the A++hole here, and Lewis is right not wanting to meet Sutil anymore.

The judge did not believe Adrian. Sutil appeared not very credible .


I'm not sure about who choose the wrong friend in this case.

Maybe it was Lewis who chose the wrong friend in Adrian Sutil.

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