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 ?óÔÇÜ?Ľ200,000 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. Aficion said on 31st January 2012, 22:18

    To anyone’s knowledge, has anything like this happened before in F1? Is there a precedence for whether or not Sutil will lose his license (I mean, besides the Shumacher example)? Maybe someone like Gilles Villeneuve smacked some people around or something? Haha!

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 31st January 2012, 22:29

      Hmm… Alan Jones injured his hand after a fight on Chiswick High Road in 1981, don’t know if any legal proceedings came out of that.

      However it was late in the year and he didn’t race in 1982 anyway (as will most likely be the case with Sutil this year) so it probably wouldn’t have mattered. Jones raced again in 1983 and again in 1985 and 1986.

    • James Hunt hit a marshal in a race in 1970 (I think it was Formula 3, but I may be wrong). He continued his career but not before the marshal attempted to sue. This was well before the FIA introducing the concept of “disrepute to the sport”.

      As for the original entry, I feel sorry for both parties, but for different reasons.

      It can’t be nice to be involved in a fight like that in the first place, especially since it’s pretty clear neither Eric nor Adrian had intended on being involved in one prior to its occurrence. Getting as serious an injury as Eric obtained is considerably worse. I can understand completely why the court had to hand out a substantial penalty to Adrian, even if they completely believed him (which itself has not been fully confirmed yet). Yes, there’s an issue of “intent”, but there’s also an issue of “disproportionate consequences”. I don’t know what to believe of the other things that have been written about Eric’s response to the incident but I can see why he would have been extremely upset about the whole thing. Nearly getting killed by someone, no matter the circumstances, is a tough thing to forgive.

      As for Adrian… …I still believe it was basically an accident with near-tragic consequences. Remember he was initially charged with grievous bodily harm but only got convicted of bodily harm (one severity level below). It’s not too big a stretch to say it’s derailed his 2012 F1 chances (the judge implied as much in the summation) and it’s possible it could affect him a lot longer than it ultimately affected Eric. Yes, Adrian did something wrong and inevitably had to face the consequences for it, but he seems to have done his best to make amends. That shows character.

      • Klon (@klon) said on 1st February 2012, 3:22

        Remember he was initially charged with grievous bodily harm but only got convicted of bodily harm

        That is just due to size limit of the article. He is convicted of the German equivalent of grievous bodily harm (“Gefährliche Körperverletzung”). since the only important part in the distinction between the two in the German justice system is whether a (in this case improvised) weapon or not.

    • Aficion said on 1st February 2012, 3:52

      Thanks for the responses guys. I think it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out, and I’m glad for your input. Cheers!

  2. Shimks (@shimks) said on 1st February 2012, 0:02

    I’m going to get on my high-horse…

    I find it pretty appalling that so many of you joke about such a serious incident and defend a person – who has now been found guilty – just because he’s a ‘nice’ F1 driver. Sutil could have killed the guy. He may say it was an accident and he tried to throw a drink at him … but that excuse isn’t really credible when you’ve driven a champagne glass into someone’s neck.

    If the courts found Sutil guilty, then you can be sure there was more to this than we know. And for sure the courts inspected the CCTV closely. The fact that Lux tried to grab him first – if correct – is pretty irrelevant. Or are you going to cry Provocation?

    Plus: Hamilton finding an excuse not to testify for his good friend speaks reams. He obviously wasn’t prepared to lie.

    It sickens me when stars get special treatment. And it looks like Sutil has got special treatment because any normal Tom, Dick or Harry wouldn’t have had their sentence suspended.

    Okay, I’ve got down again.

  3. Thank God it wasn’t Hamilton that did it! The world was have imploded.

  4. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 1st February 2012, 2:10

    Personally I think he is hard done,yes he has done something he shouldn’t have but on the other hand I guess this will hamper his F1 life for sometime.

  5. NoName said on 1st February 2012, 9:05

    Lewis Hamilton is really the most disgusting person I’ve ever seen. Always thought the media had created an image of a selfish man who only thinks of himself, but with him not appearing in court to testify really shows what a coward he is. He really is a small child, whenever trouble’s coming wether in F1 or in private he hides and tries to be invincible. What a very very poor character he is. I wonder why they have been friends in the first place or why anyone would be friends with someone that selfish

  6. PinkMaggit (@pinkmaggit) said on 1st February 2012, 13:08

    If all the things that have been said about Lux are true, I like Lotus even less than I did before. I thought there treatment of Heidfeld last year was deplorable and yes, while you can’t go around stabbing people in the neck, it does sound like it wasn’t intentional and wouldn’t have happened if Lux wasn’t forcing himself onto Adrian and provoking him.
    I only wish Raikkonen was with a different team as he is one of my favourite drivers.
    They had better treat him well!

  7. The Limit said on 1st February 2012, 21:29

    My wife always said Hamilton had all the charactaristics of a rat, and I think Adrian Sutil feels that way too. However, its Adrian Sutil who got himself in this mess. He can try a deflect his anger and blame Hamilton for the outcome of the trial, but if anyone looks ‘childish’ in all of this its Adrian Sutil.
    What is Lewis Hamilton supposed to do? Put his own career at risk by defending a fellow driver who’s career has been forever tarnished! I think Lewis has enough enemies in the paddock without creating more of them, so I can’t see how not defending Sutil is a bad thing. None of us were there that night in Shanghai, none of us saw Sutil attack Eric Lux. Hamilton was there, and knows more about what went on that we do.
    I was in a fight once and had people who I thought were my friends turn on me, and I took the can. Thats life, you have to accept it and move on. A real ‘man’ excepts responsibility for his actions, and that includes glassing people in Chinese nightclubs.
    The sad thing here is that this is supposed to be a professional sportsman here, behaving like a high street chav on a saturday night. Its embarrassing, embarrassing for the sport and embarrassing for all concerned.

  8. David. said on 3rd February 2012, 13:00

    Why does’nt Sutil keep his mouth shut about Hamilton. If he really wants to pick someone, why in the hell does’nt he have a go at Mark Webber, then perhaps he will get some satisfaction, even if it is being sat on his ass.

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