Thinking time ahead for Sutil

2012-02-02 07:11

MUNICH, Germany - Former Force India 1 driver Adrian Sutil was still considering his future this week after being given an 18-month jail sentence and 200 000 euro fine for causing grievious bodily harm to a millionaire in a 2011 Shanghai night-club brawl.

The jail sentence was suspended for four years.

"Maybe I will take some time out," the 29-year-old German, who has no F1 race seat for 2012, said after the Munich court's verdict ended a two-day trial."Maybe I will do something completely different, think about things in peace.


"At least I shook Eric Lux's hands. That's a good thing," added Sutil, an accomplished pianist whose parents are professional musicians.

Judge Christiane Thiemann found Sutil guilty of injuring Lux, chief executive of Renault F1 team owners Genii Capital, after the Chinese GP in April, 2011. Lux needed several stitches for a neck wound allegedly caused by a wine glass.

The Renault team has since been renamed Lotus while Force India has announced Germany Nico Hulkenberg as Sutil's replacement.

Only one team, HRT, still has a clear vacancy for the season scheduled to start in Australia on March 18 but Sutil - who finished ninth overall in F1 last year - could still have a chance of landing a reserve role.

He told the court on the first day of proceedings on Monday that he had repeatedly apologised to Lux and denied it was his intention to hurt him but rather to throw a drink in his face. The prosecution, however, had asked for a 21-month sentence and a 300 000 euro fine, saying that as a professional athlete Sutil should not have acted that way.


"Pushing someone away with a glass is adventurous and not in line with our experience of life," prosecutor Nicole Selzam told the court. "Professional athletes have a role-model function in public life and such incidents should not occur."

The fine will be paid to charities.

The court had also wanted to hear from McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who won the race in China and was in the night club at the time, but the 2008 World champion was excused due to team commitments.