Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 2012

Hamilton hushed over Sutil criticism

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 2012
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 2012

In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton keeps quiet as Adrian Sutil brands him a “coward” for not appearing as a witness at his trial in Germany.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Sutil: Hamilton is a coward (The Telegraph)

“Lewis is a coward, I don’t want to be friends with someone like that. For me, he is not a man. Even his father sent me a (text message) wishing me luck at the trial. I got nothing from Lewis. He changed his mobile number. I couldn’t reach him.”

McLaren gag Lewis Hamilton after Adrian Sutil brands him ‘a coward’ (The Guardian)

“A McLaren spokesman intervened and said: ‘We’ve been told Lewis shouldn’t really go there because it might go under appeal, so can we move on to the next question”, to which the 27-year-old Hamilton added: “I’ll listen to him.'”

Pay-drivers ‘absurd’ – Massa (ESPN)

“Today, there are only four teams that can afford to operate without drivers that bring money. It’s an absurd situation and I don’t think it’s good for F1 and especially the young drivers. Even if you get very good results in the formulas below (F1), you either have to be lucky or have money in order to get a seat. That’s not F1.”

Tittle-tattle from the F1 world (Joe Saward)

“The latest rumours from the F1 world suggest that Giedo Van der Garde is about to be named as the Caterham F1 Team test driver, unless Vitaly Petrov comes up with money to take over Jarno Trulli?s drive. The word is that there was a deal between Petrov and Caterham, but that the promised money has yet to arrive from Russia. It is said that one of the reasons that Petrov lost his job at Lotus F1 Team (the old Renault F1) was that his money took a long time to appear.”

Maranello white-out (Ferrari)

“It now looks as though there is little chance of carrying out the planned promotional filming featuring action shots of the car at the Fiorano track: even if the snow was to stop it?s hard to imagine that the escape roads could be cleared of their blanket of snow which is gradually building up.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Joey-Poey on Martin Whitmarsh’s hope F1 will crack the American market:

Amusing that he chose to mention both soccer and F1 (and called it soccer, I thought it was football to you guys?).

Neither of those “world sports” have truly permeated the American consciousness yet. We?re aware of them, no doubt, but ask an average person off the street to name one player or driver and you?re likely to get a blank stare.

I do agree with him that if they want to tackle it and really corner the market, they’ve got to promote it more. But more than that, it has to be made more accessible here.

Of course NASCAR is popular when most states have a race and you?re likely to get more than one opportunity to be within driving distance of one. Two races a year will work to start with since the hardcore fans will make the journey.

But if it’s going to get bigger than that, it?s going to take a combination of being accessible by location and mentally/culturally accessible. Drivers don’t live and work over here. They don’t even show up much over here (The Tony Stewart/Lewis Hamilton car swap was a great idea to give F1 presence).

Even the teams rarely have a car over here. Red Bull are the only ones I can think of who?ve brought one for people to see: out at the new Circuit of the Americas and bringing the RB7 at the Detroit Auto Show. Two Grands Prix will at least give them the incentive to improve the accessibility to American fans and I hope they capitalise on it.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

The Lotus T128 was seen in the flesh for the first time on this day last year:

Image ?? McLaren

158 comments on “Hamilton hushed over Sutil criticism”

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  1. look at it this way. Lewis turns up, testifies he saw nothing, nothing changes, Sutil gets punishment. Sutil appeals, retrial is set for gp weekend, Lewis is now obliged to attend. Mass condemnation for going to original trial!

    1. If Sutil appeals and again names Hamilton as a witness, the same thing starts again, no matter if Lewis decided to attend in the first place or not.

      1. He can’t name Hamilton as a required witness if there is evidence Hamilton didn’t witness anything.

        1. Unless of course something happens between now and then implying that Lewis’ statement did not fully indicate what he witnessed, either in the run-up to the incident or during the incident itself. I don’t think it will happen because I get the impression nobody really has the appetite for an appeal (and of course there’s no guarantee the “something” would happen even if they did), but in theory…

  2. I don’t know what’s going on in Hamilton’s life so I shouldn’t really comment but to be honest, I’d have expected him to be there for someone he claims/claimed was his friend.

    Mclaren gag Lewis and an article about Mclaren does a vanishing act in the same week? Love that side of F1.

    I kind of agree and disagree with Massa’s comments. There’s been paydrivers all through the history of F1 (Lauda) so I don’t really care that an individual has to bring sponsors or whatever especially in this economic climate and I wouldn’t automatically think less of a driver because of it. However, I don’t like that about F1. I read on JA a year or two ago that it takes an average of 14 mil. to get into F1 which is just absurd (so Felipe is right on that front). These are truly staggering drivers but I can’t help but think they aren’t the best drivers – they’re just the best who could afford it. Even the price tag that comes with just going karting is ridiculous.

  3. Sometimes the brave man is the one who doesnt ask a friend to do something if it puts their friend in a difficult position. Regardless of personal consequence.

    But you take something to court and no one wins really apart from the lawyers.

    1. Sometimes the brave man is the one who doesnt ask a friend to do something if it puts their friend in a difficult position

      I can see your point but personally, I think it’s always best if people ask for help and that is never cowardly just smart and often brave too.

    2. antonyob that’s a pretty cynical view of the legal system you got there!

  4. It’s ironic to see Massa saying something like that, since they have one pay driver in Ferrari as well. I hope he didn’t count Ferrari as one of those four teams.

    1. Which pay driver is that?

      1. Fernando Alonso with Santander. Don’t get me wrong, he is surely one of the best drivers on the grid, but Santander’s money surely had a positive impact to his moving to Ferrari

        1. I think at most it helped speed it up to buy Kimi out but he’d have gone there anyway eventually.

        2. thats arrogance, or paranoia. alson won 2 world championships and nearly won a 3rd, i think his talent was enough.

          1. The terms “world champion” and “pay driver” are not exclusive of one another – the former is a measure of ability, the latter a measure of financing.

          2. @dkpioe – If Mercedes engine in Kimi’s McLaren would have been more reliable, Kimi would have 3 titles now and Alonso would have only one (And Schumacher would have six). But that’s a bit off-topic anyway.

  5. It’s hilarious the amount of people in this comments section that think Sutil wanted Hamilton to lie in court. This is complete conjecture on their part. What is also odd are the amount of people agreeing that Lewis did the right thing in cutting off all contact with Sutil before the trial.
    From what I gather they were actually good friends, stretching back to at least 2005. Now when a friend is in trouble (granted, of his own making) Hamilton isn’t there to support him, even if it’s only emotional support? That’s not how I view friendship, dropping it as soon as things get difficult.

    Shame on Sutil for glassing Lux, and now for airing his dirty laundary in public. Shame on Hamilton for abandoning a friend.

    1. It’s hilarious the amount of people in this comments section that think Sutil wanted Hamilton to lie in court.

      Yes, it’s completely ludicrous. If you were involved in an incident that you know to have been an accident (as Sutil has claimed), and your friend had been there to witness it, would you not want that friend to testify in court? (Or, you know, maybe return your calls to tell you why he can’t?) Where exactly are people getting this idea that he expected Hamilton to lie? I wish they would share the source of their special insight.

      And, by the way, I still haven’t read an alternate account of this incident in which it’s claimed NOT to have been an accident and/or a move made in self-defense. Here’s Adam Cooper’s description of what was shown on the CCTV footage:


      1. That description certainy does shed a different light on the whole situation.

      2. this evidence makes hamilton even more the vilain for not giving evidence. from everything i have read, lux hardly suffered at all, and claimed he just wanted a face to face apology, which seems a lie given how much he spent on lawyers to bring down sutil not on morals but on “law, and is obviously happy to see sutil face this penalty even thought sutil has claimed he is sorry sutils fate was decided purely on ‘law’ – accentuated by ‘lawyers’ who who worked the system best for lux. if sutil never races an f1 car again, i blaim hamilton for ruining his career, as it seems hamiltons evedence would have made a differerence, as it seems sutil was obviously counting on him. also im surprised with the ctv footage that the judge took so harshly on sutil when it was blatenlty in self defence – i guess thats where the lawyers and witnesses come in – ie useless hamilton.

        1. I wouldn’t say Lux hardly suffered at all — it was a fairly serious injury — and I also wouldn’t say the lack of Hamilton’s testimony necessarily made a huge difference. We just don’t have enough details to say one way or the other (or at least I don’t!). I just really take issue with some of the assumptions people commenting on this post are making on the basis of no evidence at all.

          1. The lack of Hamilton’s testimony would make no difference at all. They would have had a written statement.

          2. @jleigh In that case, why have anyone come to court and testify? I’m no lawyer, but I think the opportunity for attorneys on both sides to cross-examine witnesses is actually pretty important.

        2. It can’t be known what kind of impact, if any, Hamilton’s testimony would have made. I can see it being of benefit of Sutil’s case. As a friend of Sutil Hamilton could have at least given insight into his mood that night, and possibly his interactions with Lux during that time, even if he didn’t witness the incident himself.
          If the description of the CCTV footage linked above is accurate then establishing that Sutil was or was not belligerent towards Lux, that he was or was not the one who instigated it or how intoxicated he was would have been helped, in my view, by Hamiltons appearance.
          At the very least, I’m sure Sutil’s legal representation might have used him as a character witness – showing that Sutil was not an agressive person prone to violence ect.

          On the flip side, I haven’t read the judgment of the Court and could be waaaaay off in my inferences! :)

        3. Hamilton didn’t make Sutil hit Lux with a glass, how you can say he has ruined Sutils career and it’s all his fault for not testifying is preposterous.

  6. In Hamilton’s defence I think it was McLaren that decided that it was best for their driver to get involved, there is a possibility that the case may come back under an appeal process. If that happens, the last thing Hamilton and especially McLaren need is that spectacle hanging over their heads. I think as a team, they have had enough off track diversions over the last five years to last them a lifetime.
    It is now obvious why Force India dropped Adrian Sutil at the end of 2011, they knew only full well what the outcome of the trial would be. Who needs that aggravation, especially when you are trying to run a multi million pound F1 team with sponsors to satisfy. If Adrian Sutil really cherished his racing career, or what remains of it, he would have been better off keeping his mouth shut instead of attacking Hamilton’s character in the press.
    Lewis may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but he has a career and a future in F1. Sutil has not, and has hardly done himself any favours by mouthing off.
    If you are really that sorry for stabbing someone, you keep your trap shut and take you punishment like a man. You done whine and wimper about it and try and blame your predicament on others!

  7. True story: when I was like 15 or 16 my best friend was a bit of a rebel without a cause. One time we were standing at a bus stop when a guy way older and heftier than us walked by. My pest of a friend threw some random insult at the guy, just because. He promptly got smacked across the head a few times. When it was over, he turned to me and called me chicken for not stepping in. At the time I actually half thought he was right – but when I smartened up I realized that there’s no justification for calling people out for not helping you when you’ve gone and done something really stoooopid and unnecessary, not to mention, in Sutil’s case, potentially lethal.

    1. We don’t really know what went on and cutting off all contact doesn’t look very good on Hamilton- he could have at least given the reasons why but he just walked away from someone who was his friend.

      1. If Ham knows what happened and doesn’t want to lie and he feels that his version of events wouldn’t help Sutil anyway then he has NO choice but remain silent and avoid contact with the guy for fear that anything he would say to him or even the existence of contact between them might be seen as an indicator that he has chosen to remain silent. And obviously he can’t even explain that then, can he ?

        1. Who says he had to lie or wanted to lie or felt like he had to? Where does lying come into this?

          1. @Steph Unfortunately you are right in replying. This is yet another comment that makes the assumption that Sutil wanted Hamilton to lie in court. I grow weary of the amount of people that infer such!

  8. Not sure why people are defending Hamilton when he doesn’t need defending. He’s innocent, he has legal and contractual obligations to fulfil and no one here knows anything about the personal contact between him and Sutil. If he chooses not to be friends with him anymore, for whatever reason, that’s his choice. Nothing wrong at all.

  9. Some of the comments suggest that Hamilton’s reason for not turning up to the trial was because McLaren asked him not to. If that’s true then I wonder if Hamilton needs McLaren’s permission the breathe. Hamilton definitely shows signs of being McLaren’s personal ragdoll.

  10. I can understand Sutil’s view as being 100% genuine. he obivoulsy feels he was dealt with harshly by the court and feels hamiltons evidence would have helped him. if this is true, then hamilton is a true coward and has possibly ruined the career of a true f1 talent. hamilton is a puppet, a created talent by mclaren, and they control him, and are in control of him over this matter. he should be his own man and help a friend.
    It is obvious not much harm was done to Lux, who “claims” he only wanted a face to face apology, which is bs – he wanted Sutil to ‘go down’ and he has won because the coward hamilton did not show to give the vital evidence that would have cleared Sutil, who has been apoligetic from the start

    1. Force India dropped Sutil, Williams didn’t sign him up, neither did STR or Lotus black, and all this while, Hamilton had not failed to testify.
      Yoy may aswell acuse a chicken of hatching into an egg.

  11. Woohoo! CotD :D

    Y’know, I can understand Sutil’s irritation, but it seems to me publicly calling him a coward won’t mend their relations. I suppose he’s been unleashed a bit now that he doesn’t have a place at any team (which probably means no PR person watering down everything he has to say). But I would figure it’d behoove him to keep something like that a private matter between him and Hamilton.

    1. I don’t think Sutil’s comments are related to having a seat in an F1 team or not. Apart from the fact that they are/were F1 drivers this issue has nothing to do with F1. Sutil only stated his disappointment about Hamilton’s behaviour and he did that because he was questioned about that fact.

  12. I don’t know why we are getting so deep into this. This is a matter between them two. And it is private. I don’t see how this is related to F1 at all, or the only purpose of such rumors is only do to damage to the sport and the two drivers involved.
    Personally, I don’t like when private things go public. This is a matter to be discussed among friends, which we are not.

  13. I can’t see why Hamilton wouldn’t help a long time friend, if he could. To me it sounds like Sutil thought Hamilton could help him -since he was sitting next to Sutil at the time the event occured (judging by the comment on cctv footage)- but in fact Hamilton could very well have not seen what had happened despite sitting next to him.

    This is where it gets odd: Sutil probably thought Hamilton had evidence that could help his case when in fact Lewis had not. Maybe he tried to convince Lewis multiple times to help him, but in the end Lewis probably got sick, ended his friendship and changed his phone number.

    Too many assumptions there, could very well be the truth, could be well off, we’ll -probably- never know. To me, if there were reasons preventing Lewis from helping his friend, McLaren telling him not to isn’t one of them.

    Other than that, I concur with the idea that the matter is among only 2 of them and doesn’t concern anyone else. Because of that, people calling him “corporate robot” and stuff like that sound so pathetic. Haters will always found ways to undermine the person they despise i guess.

  14. My grasp of the law is pretty basic so excuse me if iam talking twaddle.

    If Sutil would of pleaded not guilty Lewis would of been called as a witness, if he was unable to attend the trial it would of been postoned, more likely he would be summoned to attend regardless of other commitments and not attending would of meant him being in contempt of court, Sutil pleaded guilty therefore there was no legal need for Lewis to attend, now was Sutil expecting Lewis to show up and back Hes corner when sutil is guilty of GBH, I dont know about you but I woundn`t use a freind in that way if i was caught `bang to rights`

    This is just Sutil trying to divert the attention away from himself.

    1. Strange how the one who didn’t cause any harm is the one being blamed for the consequence of another person’s actions.

      If you call a persons phone, does the network tell you if they’ve changed their number?

      1. Thinking about it, wouldn`t you change an destroy any phones connected to said offence after the NOTW scandel?

  15. For once Lewis made the right decision not to get involved with this Sutil nonsense. He has a championship to worry about, Sutil is a big boy, he can deal with the consequences of his indiscretions. The guy is done as far is F1 is concerned, Lewis on the other hand is a potential multiple world champion. Good on him.

  16. I am happy to see Sutil’s comment here because it seems that a great part of British media has ignored this polemic. In my opinion Hamilton’s attitude here is highly reprehensible , at least you should show some support to your friend, even if he is guilty, he has been a bad friend and a coward, perhaps his lawyers has advised him not do any comment about this issue in order to protect his F1 career.

    Moreover, it seems that Hamilton hasn’t learnt anything in this winter break taking into account his stupid comments about Massa and Schumacher, Lewis you should learn from Jenson and speak only with your driving.

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