Sutil and Hamilton friendship remains frosty
Mercedes
Posted By: James Allen  |  22 May 2013   |  6:47 pm GMT  |  103 comments

Force India’s Adrian Sutil has suggested he and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton are still some way off sorting out their differences after the two came face-to-face in an FIA press conference today for the first time this season.

The duo were once good friends, having got on well as they made their way through the various junior formulae and in their first few years in Formula 1 together.

The situation changed in 2011, though, when Sutil was involved in an incident in a Shanghai nightclub following Hamilton’s Chinese Grand Prix win.

Sutil had hoped Hamilton would serve as a witness, but it never materialised. Sutil was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm for assaulting Lotus executive Eric Lux. The 30-year-old was given an 18-month suspended sentence and a 200,000 euro (£166,139) fine.

The German missed last season, but returned with Force India in 2013. And while Hamilton was quite open when asked about the situation in the press conference ahead of this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, Sutil was far more reserved.

“Things are different, definitely,” said Hamilton. “We’ve spoken a couple of times and we’ve planned to get together at some stage and just have a chat basically.

“We’ve been great friends for a long, long time and we’ve had some of the best times together along the way, especially, as you said, in Formula Three times.

“You can only really count your good friends on one hand maybe, so as people say, good friends are hard to come by, so I want to make sure we get things right.”

Sutil then added:Well, as he said, yes, different and I’m still waiting for a coming together. I can’t say anything more.”

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1

There was a Video Tape and dozens of witnesses guys.. So I guess he couldn’t have changed much without lying under oath.

And Sutil knifed someone on his kneck, for whatever provocation. Everyone deserves a second chance and he got his, he is back on the grid. Still, it’s the type of thing that most people would never do..

I think Adrian should eat humble pie and not point fingers.

Many people would distance themselves from a friend like that.

2
Stone the crows

I think this is all between them, and probably we won’t hear the whole story until they’re both in their 70’s and realize what utter pillocks they were back in the day.

3

lots of rumours about what was said to spark the incident.

None should be repeated, but what can be said is that they involve Lewis and probably not something he would want on record in a court as it would then be fairly republished by media.

image control.

4

i wouldn’t be surprised if hamilton reveals that he couldn’t give evidence in suttil’s case because he was being controlled by some outdated people who are bent on violating human rights for their personal gains.

5

hamilton failed to stand by suttil in his troubled moment, once. but has been there for suttil through many years as teammates in other racing formulae. he even put in a good word in the media in support of suttil when he was a candidate for the force india drive. i know suttil feels let down but one incident should not outweigh all those years of friendship. if hamilton consistently let him down over several different issues, i’d understand him but over a single incident is uncalled for even if the incident nearly ended his f1 career.

6

I think it’s bad form to bring something like this up and expected Sutil to be open about it. I know the question wasn’t directly about the incident in the nightclub, but it’s close to the bone and It’s a legal situation for Sutil so that’s probably why he kept quiet.

7

What matters is the truth of the situation. Undoubtably Sutil had provocation, but he should have known when to rein himself in, and walk away. Instead he reacted and caused injury to the other guy. Well you can’t defend the indefencible, and Hamilton did the best thing and simply avoid the situation. – I mean what did Sutil want him to do commit purgery.

Anyway I’m glad Sutil is back as he is a fast driver, and the sport needs fast drivers!

8

Well your mates breathed a sigh of relief upon reading your post…………..”Thank Christ I never asked Richard to be my alibi in case the missus calls work and im at the pub…..”

9

Anyway point being, I am glad its over and Sutil is back on the grid, and he now knows who his friends are.

F1 must feel so lonely for someone new coming in….

10

James –

I do find it interesting, and I find it odd that majority of the comments here say that Sutil “stabbed” Eric.

Sutil did not, it was an accident in which the Glass / bottle (whatever broke) and in the act became a weapon… its something that can happen in any bar after a few drinks and not really the criminal behavior that it is being made out for.

So with such background, why are people siding with Hamilton when clearly he abandoned his “best friend” as he himself calls him in the press conference above.

11

Because most people in this world only look after themselves……….

When James posted a similar article last year, the same “don’t get involved” attitude was the majority. Nothing has changed.

Seems one mistake is enough to be cast aside……so Lewis was right when he didn’t go to court and say ” yes Adrian did something stupid, but I’ve never seen him do anything remotely like that in the time I’ve known him……. “

But he could fly to Switzerland on the eve of the Belgian gp in 2007 and swear black and blue he had no knowledge of anyone at McLaren having Ferrari data and using it on their cars………..to help out Ron Dennis……who never lies

12

Sutil is completely in the wrong here. There is no justification for stabbing someone. Period. Hamilton would be smart to completely distance himself from this maniac.

All of you that are arguing that Hamilton should have backed him up in court need to take a serious look at yourselves. If Hamilton had some solid evidence I’m sure he would have come forward or been supoenaed. I think this is more of a case of Sutil wanting Hamilton to bend the truth a bit and Ham not biting.

13

I thought Sutil was annoyed because he couldn’t get hold of Hamilton who then changed his phone number.

Or do I have my wires crossed?

14

I’m not a lawyer, and I’m not familiar with German law, but if Hamilton had such potentially exonerating evidence, why didn’t Sutil’s defense attorney have a subpoena issued on Hamilton. Otherwise, it’s the media’s job to generate circulation, so we shouldn’t be surprised that the question came up, regardless of the time and place. And now it’s come up, it’s done and it won’t come up again.

15

because hamilton is a british citizen and therefore, a german court can’t force him to do anything.

16

We’ve all been in some crazy circumstances, myself included. Haven’t even really come close to stabbing someone. Its pretty easy to avoid unless you’re looking for some trouble. Really, you don’t have to stab people. You can leave, or kick ’em in the fellas, lots of options. Pretty easy not to stab someone. Heck, I haven’t stabbed anyone ALL WEEK, and its Wednesday already.

17

Lewis is in the wrong here, but I’m not really surprised. Most top drivers are big white sharks. Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Senna, Schumacher: you name it. They are “nice” only until the point when what is right conflicts with their own interests. Hamilton decided that testifying on his friend’s behalf might hurt his image, so he didn’t. But the problem is, he stabbed his friend in the back for all the wrong reasons. At least the other sharks have done some questionable things in order to win–not for PR reasons. They wouldn’t have been scared to hurt their image. I don’t doubt that Vettel would have testified for Kimi, and Alonso for Webber. They might be sharks when it comes to F1 and winning, but they seem to be decent persons off track. Lewis should care more about racing and winning than his public image. He has the talent, but he concentrates on all the wrong things, unlike Alonso and Vettel.

18

Lol….

Lewis run off with your wife or something?

Can you fill us in with all this background info that you’re obviously privvy too to make your assertion Lewis is at fault etc. I’d be very itnerested to know what McLaren’s legal team advised him…..do tell us

19

The lawyers told him u dont know how to spell ‘interested’……

Lol

20

I suspect McLaren and XIX both strongly advised him to stay the hell away. But you say he should care more about winning than PR, yet getting embroiled in a court case is hardly going to help his racing career.

He was right to not get involved in this whole mess and keep well away.

21

I agree with you. I mean, releasing autobiography at the age of 20? C’mon…

There’s definately more to this AS incident than we’re aware of and Lewis was somehow involved, that’s the only logical explanation of AS behaviour.

22

WHo was on trial? Did Lewis help AS stab the the Lotus dude? No, Adrian brought the problem on himself, why balme someone else for it?

25

Did anyone see Jenson’s smile at the press briefing? when Lewis was asked about adrian? He seemed to really enjoy the discomfort of the question, he was literally smiling. I have to say in general my opinion of Jenson this year has really gone down a few notches.

26

Not sure that’s entirely fair on Jenson to be honest – I would imagine it was more of a “You had to ask…” kind of reaction rather than a “Sucks to be you” kind of reaction. Much as I don’t claim any particular knowledge of Jenson as a person, he doesn’t seem the type who enjoys watching people squirm.

27

Sutil is lucky to be in F1 this year as it looked like his F1 career was over

Fair play to Force India giving him another chance

He’s shown some speed so far

Hopefully he can repay them with some good results

28

I think it was an unprofessional question from the journo: why is their relationship relevant to the weekend? They have the right to talk to each other privately and face to face, not in front of the media wearing their team shirts where their words, to an extent represent, the companies that want to be associated with them. If you had a driver who went and spoke his mind when confronted with a question like that rather than speak with the chap alone it would be rather more distasteful than a driver who parrots a media friendly line of answers.

29
Stephen Taylor

Exactly what relevance does this have to the Monaco GP?

30

please do not turn into a people magazine !

31

A bit confused I am about your statement …

32

I couldn´t agree more!!! I think the question was completly out of place. The reporters have the right to ask and Hamilton and Sutil are public figures. But it wasn´t the right place nor the right time. The questions should be about the race, tyres and things related to F1.Their friendship is a personal matter between the two of them.

33

What is there to ask about the tyres? 🙂

34

Oh there were more important questions than that. Questions about football, about Champions League. Really,I´m not making this up

So Sebee, Do you think Dormunt can make the miracle a beat the mighty Bayern Munich? They asked the drivers this question. I´m asking you and everyone else

🙂

35

I agree this is tabloid stuff.

The question was totally inappropriate and I’m pretty surprised that Hamilton/Sutil didn’t tell them where to stick it.

Jenson Button nearly burst out laughing when the question was asked, although I think this was more out of shock than schadenfreude.

36

This feels a little fly on the wall, picking over AS + LH friendship. They know what happened – I don’t give a monkeys.

But i does get interesting if they start racing against each other [unlikely given the tyres] and their shared history through these events affects their driving. I don’t think I’ve seen them wheelbanging yet. Maybe the tyres will be fixed before their friendship…

37

Then send AS to Pirelli to be fixed at the same time, that’d probably help to solve the matter 🙂

38

Given the circumstances AS behaviour is totally understandable- especially if LH evidence would have exonerated him. At lest this is the impression AS gave at the time of the trial.

With friends like that, who need enemies. It is totally up to LH to make amends for his less than stellar behaviour at the time. Whoever advised him- if in fact someone did, made a hash of it..

39

how do you know LH’s evidence would have exonerated AS?

What happens if LH came forward at the time and it turns out the same verdict was drawn as now – I’m guessing it would still be LH’s fault because he got involved when he should have kept quiet?

I do agree though that someone was pulling strings behind the scenes (i.e. giving LH “advice” on what to do).

40

It’s funny that Lewis is trying so hard to be “gangsta” and all that crap that is less edgy and alternative than my grandmas record collection, and yet, when presented an opportunity to really show what he’s made of, he of course revealed just what a corporate robot he really is.

41

LOL, just to clear it up. I didn’t mean he should have joined in the fight in the nightclub. 🙂 I meant that he should have helped his friend, instead of steering as far away as possible and going into “unavailable” mode, just to avoid a bit of potential controversy.

42

of course he is going to steer as far away as possible. in my humble opinion I don’t balme Hamilton one bit. Why he chose not to come forward (i.e. whether it’s because of McLaren telling him so, or it’s his own doing) is not the problem here.

The problem is Sutil did something wrong and expects LH to bail him out. What, there weren’t any other credible witnesses present? Why specifically LH? Anything to do with him being a high profile individual?

We will probably never know the exact incidents leading up to Sutil’s final action but suffice to say having a go at LH when it’s Sutil who stabbed/slashed someone is a bit unfair.

43

Hamilton’s father has been quite controlling in the past and it is understandable that it would put a strain in their relationship with him as his manager. He did not throw him anywhere, if anything it was his father that attempted to throw Hamilton in a different direction.

44

Yo Adrian!

Grow up.If hamilton had testified you might still be in jail.

45

Why was Hamilton obligated here? Because it was his party? Because Sutil is his friend? Are we not aware of some details?

You make your mess, you clean it up. Friends don’t cause crap at a friend’s victory party.

46

For once I agree with you.

47

Hypothetically, lets say Mclaren’s legal team ordered Lewis to stay from Sutil’s court case >>> so far pretty understandable.

But here’s the question,

Why did Lewis then change his phone number at just about the same time >>> pretty suspect behaviour.

Yes, all this behaviour from someone that once fell out with his own father and not any father but one that helped develop his career.

So yeah, if one can throw their own father under the bus, what hope do the rest of us have.

48

How about the fact that Sutil took the next plane out of China? Is that being a solid friend to skip town when you know the cops are investigating a crime, in which you stabbed someone, in which your good friend was present? What if Hamilton, being in Sutil’s party, got locked up and charged while Sutil was chilling back home, unable to be interviewed. Not to mention people were immediately of course saying, of course bad-boy hip-hop Hamilton would be a fight a club. I think its not Hamilton who should be extending the olive branch here.

49

This is funny! 🙂

If your friend decides to drink a glass of “never to return.” Would you join them? There are lines that must not be crossed, slashing another person is such a line. Anything could have happened.

51

Horror of horrors, Lewis changed his phone number?!

The only suspect behaviour is Sutil stabbing someone in the neck

52

So, are you still living with your parents 🙂

53

@ Joel

Yes, I still live with my mamma

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