Formula 1 News

Sutil accused of assault by Lotus shareholder

The Force India driver was involved in a incident at night club after the Chinese Grand Prix this year.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Adrian Sutil inside his car in pits.

PARIS, May 17, 2011 (AFP) - German Formula One driver Adrian Sutil was subject to a formal complaint by Lotus Renault shareholder Eric Lux on Tuesday for "assault" over an incident at a nightclub after the Chinese Grand Prix.

The 28-year-old Force India pilot -- yet to finish on the podium in 74 races -- is alleged by Lux to have assaulted him at the Shanghai nightclub where the German had come to celebrate close friend Lewis Hamilton's win in the race.

"Following events in Shanghai on April 17 and after taking time to put together a complete dossier on the subject, Mr Eric Lux has decided to make a formal complaint against Mr Adrian Sutil for assault," said Lux's Geneva-based lawyer Marc Henzelin in a statement.

"Both the FIA and the Force India team will be notified of this procedure in the coming days, once the actual complaint has been formally deposed. "Mr Lux reserves the right to pursue others indirectly involved in the incident at a later date."

According to media reports, a brawl broke out between the two men, with Sutil injuring Lux's throat with a champagne glass -- a wound that required stitches -- before leaving the nightclub accompanied by Hamilton.

While Sutil admits injuring someone, he says that it was not intentional."At the event something happened that was a result of an unfortunate action by myself in which I injured someone, but totally unintentionally," he told German daily Bild last week.

"I regret the incident and as a result I apologise. As it is a private affair not linked to Formula One or my job as a driver, I hope that you will understand that I won't answer any other questions on the subject."

Sutil's manager Manfred Zimmermann said that his client had tried to contact Lux but without success. "Adrian has tried on several occasions over the past few weeks to contact Lux in order to speak about this unfortunate incident, but Mr Lux was unfortunately never prepared to discuss the affair," Zimmerman said in a statement.

"As it stems from a totally unintentional act from Adrian's part that caused the injury to Mr Lux, we are convinced there will be a judgement in our favour if the matter should go to court."

Force India issued a statement later on Tuesday saying they were following the situation closely. "The Force India team is aware of the statements made by its pilot Adrian Sutil and Eric Lux of Genii Capital, concerning the events that occurred after the Chinese Grand Prix and will continue to follow them closely," it said.

"Both our pilots are fully focused on the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend."
 

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