|By Mark Ace - 3 March 2013|
With Adrian Sutil being charged with "grievous bodily harm," it was well known that Sutil's F1 career was all but over. His criminal record and suspended sentence came about after a night club incident in April 2011 which ended in Eric Lux being "glassed" by Sutil.
Details of the incident are sketchy, but reports suggest that Lux initiated physical contact, grabbing Sutil by the scruff of the neck. Adrian with one arm draped over a couch and a champagne glass in the other hand, reacted in order to stop himself falling. Unfortunately, in Sutil's attempt at grabbing Lux, he used the hand with the glass, resulting in an inadvertent glassing of Lux.
Lewis Hamilton, a close friend and eye witness at the time, snubbed Sutil when his best friend needed him the most. Lewis, who was set to testify in court, remained "un-contactable" during Sutil's trial which led to the rupture of their strong friendship.
"Lewis is a coward, I do not want to be friends with someone like that," Sutil told German daily Bild.
"As far as I am concerned, he isn't a man. Even his father sent me a text message and wished me luck for the trial.
"There was nothing from Lewis. He has changed his phone number and I cannot reach him anymore."
Fuming, Sutil stated that "If he [Lewis] had just picked up the phone like a man and said he couldn't testify, it would have been OK. Now, he is nothing to me"
However, over the 2013 pre season winter testing, Adrian was given a life line by this former team, Force India and team owner Vijay Mallya. It is well know that Vijay has a "soft spot" for Adrian.
Sutil was named a candidate for the available Force India seat, along with Ferrari Academy Junior Driver, Jules Bianchi. Adrian and Jules duked it out on the track, with both setting notable times. For reasons stated by Bob Fernley (see article ), Adrian Sutil was prized with the last remaining F1 seat.
However, Jules Bianchi was also given a happy ending when he was announced as the replacement for the ousted Marussia driver Luiz Razia - who was unable to bring much needed sponsorship to the table.
Lewis has since publicly admitted “I had said a prayer for him, that I really hoped he got the seat because he deserved it and that I really hoped to see him back in Formula One."
“I also emailed him on the way here as soon as I found out and congratulated him. I haven’t heard back from him but I am sure at some stage we will get to talk.”
Sutil seems to be dishing out his own medicene by ignoring Hamilton's requests, but knows that the pair will inevitably have to meet eye to eye.
“We have no relationship at the moment. I never saw him, I never spoke to him. I will meet up with him, but I don’t know what will happen.”
Adrian's most recent response seems somewhat more neutral - compared to him branding Lewis as a coward only a few months ago.
Perhaps there is a chance that the two will reconcile their friendship. In the 2013 season, it will be exciting to see how their relationship evolves. Also exciting will be how Sutil performs against team mate Paul Di Resta. Watch this space for more Sutil vs Hamilton vs Di Resta news.