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Hamilton wants to focus on racing, but gets a pelter from Sutil
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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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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.


Top paragraph “inc drivers” sorry


I didn’t do it.


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.



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.


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 was right.

Sutil sounds like a pain in the neck!


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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……..


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


sutil is a fool for glassing someones neck 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.


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!


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 ?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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’.

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