Suspended jail sentence for Sutil

2012 F1 season

Adrian Sutil, Force India, Interlagos, 2011

Sutil was found guilty of grievous bodily harm

Adrian Sutil has been handed an 18-month suspended jail sentence by a court in Germany.

Sutil received the sentence along with a ??200,000 fine after being found guilty of inflicting bodily harm on Eric Lux in a nightclub in Shanghai last year.

The former Force India driver told the court he had apologised and claimed he had only meant to spill his drink on Lux when he wounded him with a champagne glass during the fracas. Lux is the CEO of Lotus owners Genii Capital.

Sutil is without a drive for 2012 having lost his seat at Force India to Nico Hulkenberg last year.

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140 comments on Suspended jail sentence for Sutil

  1. I’ve seen Lux get a lot of stick on the net but I can’t for the life of me understand why. On the most basic level he was the victim of an assault and any assumption more than that is based on gossip and speculation which isn’t exactly concrete and is why I haven’t really wanted to comment much on this whole thing.

    I can’t really comment on the sentence because like I’ve just said I’ve no clue as to what went on but I think of the face of it Sutil got off lightly avoiding any real jail time.

    On a very different note I’ll be interested to see what happens with his career now as he’s been stagnant for years and now without a drive.

  2. goofy (@goofy) said on 31st January 2012, 13:27

    Well guys you got some fundamental things wrong about this case and german law:
    It wasn’t Lux who went in court it was Sutil! Lux reported the incindent to a federal prosecutor who found Sutil guilty and Sutil received a 12month jail sentence which was suspended to 12 month. (german: Strafbefehl / penal order?)
    Sutil found this unfair and appealed the Strafbefehl which automaticaly leads into a court case. The judge sentenced an even higher punishment to Sutil than the procecussion demanded (3years suspended to 18month). This is very unusual

    • magon4 (@magon4) said on 31st January 2012, 13:32

      Correcting you there, the procecussion asked for a longer sentence (21 months) and a higher fee (300,000), so that last bit of info is not quite accurate. He got 3 months less and 100,000 less.

  3. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 31st January 2012, 13:48

    Seems like a fair sentence to me.

    Can’t say I’ll miss him an awful lot.

  4. The Limit said on 31st January 2012, 14:08

    I don’t think Eric Lux is arrogant. If anything, the man weilding a champagne glass at Lux’s neck is the arrogant one. There is a big difference between a bunch of fives and being glassed, Adrian Sutil picked up the closest thing to hand and attacked Lux with it. A good job, atleast for Eric Lux, that it was a glass and not a knife.
    You can rest assured, that if you or I had done that, we would be behind bars and rightly so. Adrian Sutil is a lucky man, lucky to have his freedom, and lucky that he didn’t kill Eric Lux! If in attacking this man, is in some way aided the demise of his F1 career, in that he has only himself to blame.
    No wonder Lewis Hamilton wanted nothing to do with this trial, I would turn the other way too!

  5. amadeus said on 31st January 2012, 14:11

    This is ******* ridiculous. Absolutely. If Sutil’s fellony was so bad why they did’n judged them earlier ? This looks like revenge from a very very frustrated person. All the cameras (according to Zimmermann) showed that Sutil’s “hit” was unintentional. It’s a shame that such a talented pilot at the height of his career could be dragged in mud just to justify some interests. Shame, shame, shame !

  6. amadeus said on 31st January 2012, 14:24

    Yes, “he hasn’t got a drive” because MONEY talks loder than talent in F1. Look @ what is happening at Williams. A team with tradition who did’n cared about talent. The bigger the bag the best chances. 2 drivers perfectly suitable for HRT. Need another prove ?

  7. dkpioe said on 31st January 2012, 15:01

    Sutils lawyers should have used the line that lux guy used in the media in last few days, that all he wanted was a face to face apology. the court should have just made him apologise face to face, as thats all lux ‘claims’ he wanted, which is bull anyway, he wanted sutil penalised as heavily as his lawyers could work the system. the situation sounds like the guy got a smack on the gob which he deserved for provoking sutil, and suffered no injuries, then he used high paid lawyers to get revenge on Sutil. is that being synical?

  8. themagicofspeed (@) said on 31st January 2012, 15:42

    Well, given what ive read about Eric Lux wanting to destroy Sutils career etc and avoiding him, and all the other rubbish directed at Sutil about wanting him to leave F1, if thats true then Eric Lux got what he deserved, smarmy, arrogant man. HE is the sort of person I dont want to see in F1, not Sutil. He’s overblown it beyond all proportion and milked the situation to damage Sutil’s career, which has nothing to do with something that happened outside of his job as an F1 driver. Personally if whats been said is true, i dont criticise Sutil one bit.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 31st January 2012, 16:04

      Wow, that is quite something you write there @themagicofspeed! Now, Eric Lux might not be the nicest person in the world, but certainly you cannot be serious about saying its perfectly fine if he ends up having his neck stitched because of a large gut he got from some kind of fight with Sutil?

      I can understand one lets things go out of control, especially with alcohol involved in it. But that’s quite a big step away from condoning what Sutil did, even if it was never meant to hurt Lux as it did.

  9. antonyob (@) said on 31st January 2012, 16:48

    ive got no sympathy for anyone who tries to get rich on the back of a fight and then when he fails takes the guy to court. Utterly reprehensible by a man with no shame. I feel sorry for Sutil. Anyone can make a mistake in the heat of a moment. It takes a special type of lowlife to coldly try and use that position to his advantage.

  10. Fixy (@fixy) said on 31st January 2012, 17:11

    This is so sad. Not that Sutil was given this sentence, but the fact he committed the crime.

  11. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 31st January 2012, 17:51

    I’m surprised by some of the responses here. There may well be more to the story than meets the eye and, as I said in my earlier comment, there’s a lot we don’t know for sure about what went on in that nightclub in Shanghai.

    Taking it at face value (excuse the pun) if someone hit me in the face with a glass I wouldn’t consider a fine sufficient – particularly if they were a well-paid motor racing driver.

    And I certainly would not want to have to meet them again in person for an apology. I’d expect them to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    I’m not trying to portray Sutil as a thug and Lux as a saint. Perhaps Sutil was provoked and Lux is conniving. But some comments here appear to be judging both in blindingly stark black-and-white terms, which tends to make me suspicious.

    • JeffS86 said on 31st January 2012, 19:06


      Have you seen Adam Cooper’s ( article regarding what he saw on the CCTV footage from the nightclub? Curious as to your opinion if you haven’t yet seen it.


    • Dave Blanc said on 1st February 2012, 0:51

      “particularly if they were a well-paid motor racing driver”

      Keith – what on earth has that got to do with anything? It’s completely irrelevant to whether or not he should be facing criminal charges.

      I’ve read quite a bit about the case, and it seems that Sutil was indeed threatened, and rather stupidly went to throw his drink in Lux’s face. He ended up glassing him.

      Now, there’s nothing in Sutil’s past to suggest a propensity for violence, and he’s a man that deals with incredible pressure when in a cockpit and doesn’t make rash judgements. In fact, that’s part and parcel of being an F1 driver.
      So the idea that he deliberately glassed Lux, whilst sat in a public bar having a drink with one of his best friends just doesn’t make sense.

      It was obviously an accident which could have had very serious consequences. If it was deliberate – fair enough, he should get the book thrown at him. It clearly wasn’t. That doesn’t excuse being punished but you have to take into account the circumstances.

      Personally, I think he’s been hard done by.

  12. The Limit said on 31st January 2012, 18:55

    I agree with Keith. When Sutil picked up that glass, thats ‘intent’. He may have been drunk and lost his temper, he may not have wanted to hurt Lux, but the intent was there. I could shoot someone in the leg and argue that I never meant to kill them! The answer to that would be though, then why use a gun? Sutil used a weapon, and there was the potential there for serious harm to Eric Lux. As others have said, Lux could have been killed if the glass had cut an artery. Prisons all over the world are full of people who didn’t ‘intend’ to kill others, but did anyway. When you cross that line, there is no way back.

  13. OOliver said on 31st January 2012, 19:03

    But Sutil can’t have just walked up to Lux, and whacked him with a bottle for fun.
    I’m not taking sides but Lux does sound like a slippery character.
    The courts do recognize physical and mental abuse

  14. themagicofspeed (@) said on 31st January 2012, 21:17

    I’d be interested to know what Lux was saying to Sutil to provoke such a reaction – even when drunk, you don’t lash out so dramatically unless somebody directly and seriously insults you. He must have said something quite bad, I assume – as others have said, there was an intent – however i think its important to ‘split’ that intent as such –

    Did Sutil intend to do something to Lux with the glass, wether pouring drink on him or indeed attacking him with it? Yes.
    Did Sutil intend to hurt, or even kill Lux? I don’t think so. I dont know either of them, or what was said, but its questionable that regardless of what was said, that you would deliberately go out to seriously injure or kill somebody in front of a packed nightclub full of witnesses.

    All of this aside though, Lux’s reaction to it makes him the lesser men of the two. Sutil tried to apologize, and instead of accepting his genuine apology and perhaps some form of compensation and leaving it at that, he really tried his hardest to ensure maximum damage to Sutil as a sportsman, which for me is underhand and unsportsmanlike and i don’t want people like that in charge of F1 teams. If the two had met, Sutil had compensated him for the injury and damages, and the two sort it out between them like the professionals they are expected to be, this would be a different story. In the global press this is hardly the sort of press our sport needs.

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