Hamilton hushed over Sutil criticism

F1 Fanatic round-up

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

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Invoke, Oliver Queisser, Sriram and photozen!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

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

Image ?? McLaren

Advert | Go Ad-free


158 comments on Hamilton hushed over Sutil criticism

  1. Girts (@girts) said on 2nd February 2012, 7:07

    Sutil’s quotes only confirm my impression that he’s a guy who desperately wants to show the world how brave and masculine he is.

    Talking about Massa’s attitude towards pay drivers, I think the issue is a bit more complicated than that. Is Schumacher nowadays a pay driver? Seemingly not, of course. But Joe Saward, for example, believes that Mercedes keeps Michael just because he helps the manufacturer sell more road cars, not because he’s still a good driver. I think Saward might be right. And would Massa still be with Ferrari if the team really wanted to have the two best drivers that they could get?

    • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 2nd February 2012, 9:27

      And Hamilton’s behavior only proves my impression that he’s not a real person, but a Mclaren created and guided racing robot who knows nothing about real life and needs to be guided how to act by the Mclaren PR machine, instead of by normal human concepts like, say, true friendship.

    • celeste (@celeste) said on 2nd February 2012, 9:39

      For me this are the words of a person that feels hurt and scared… heck I will be if I were him…

      My point is if Hamilton, why he himself wouldn´t call Sutil and explain himself?

      • Girts (@girts) said on 2nd February 2012, 13:26

        @celeste I think Adrian’s definitely very disappointed and probably feels hurt, too. I also don’t blame Adrian, actually I like him but simply have got the impression that he’s afraid to show any weaknesses when finding himself in the public eye.

        There could many reasons why Hamilton didn’t go to the court or call Adrian but I don’t think it’s just because McLaren told him what (not) to do. I wish I could have been in that Chinese nightclub on that April night so I wouldn’t have to speculate :) I guess this also reminds us that it’s hard to stay friends in such a complex and competitive world as F1 is.

  2. OOliver said on 2nd February 2012, 7:58

    Sutil doesn’t get it.

    Mclaren determines where Hamilton can go or not go. That is the contract he has. Which is why you don’t see Hamilton paragliding or jet skiing.
    Mclaren may also feel that association with such a case might be dmaging to their image. It doesn’t matter if you participated or not, the press will distort it to make it seem like their driver was party to it.
    If you attend once you are then compelled to attend whenever you are required to, which could coincide with one of Mclaren’s event which can include races.

    Immediately after the incident, Hamilton had said he didn’t see what happened. Of what use is his testimony?

    • SparkyJ23 (@sparkyj23) said on 2nd February 2012, 8:58

      Your job doesn’t preclude going to court, Especially if your excuse is a press conference. Hamilton could have gone but chose not to (Rightly in my opinion)

    • dennis (@dennis) said on 2nd February 2012, 9:02

      I don’t think how what you said contradicts Sutil’s opinion of Hamilton. If you choose not to help a friend, because your employer (illegally) tells you not to, then you indeed are a coward.

      I’m not sure if Hamilton could have been any use to Sutil, and I certainly do not want to judge his decision, but my personal opinion is, that they both make a bit of fools out of themselves.

      Sutil for wasting his career in a disco-brawl and Hamilton for once again acting like a corporate doll by saying he has press duties to fullfill.

      • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 2nd February 2012, 9:30

        @dennis +1 Spot on.

      • Dobin1000 (@dobin1000) said on 2nd February 2012, 10:44

        Just ‘turning up’ at a trial doesn’t help anyone. If he actually had some contribution to make to the case he would have be called as a witness. The fact that at no point has anyone said he was called means he almost certainly wasn’t of interest to anyone involved.

        Has Sutil called all his friends in the world and called anyone who wasn’t at the trial a coward? Has he not got any other friends? This has either been taken out of context or has been made up.

        Now the armchair experts are analysing the minds of Lewis and Adrian because of something written in the Sun. Seeing as none of us actually know what happened for sure these comments just show where people’s prejudices lie…

        • dennis (@dennis) said on 2nd February 2012, 10:51

          He was called a witness. And he gave a written statement, that he didn’t see anything in that moment.

        • VoiseyS (@voisey) said on 2nd February 2012, 13:35

          Giving a written statement would have been to the police, who would have interviewed him after the incident. If his written 9and sworn) statement says he didn;t see anything he would be of no value to either the prosecution or the defence so would be unlikely to need to appear in court.

          Was he actually served with a subpoena? If so, I can’t see McLaren refusing to allow him to attend, that must be a breach of law??

      • OOliver said on 2nd February 2012, 14:33

        And what happens if the next court appearance is on the same date as one of his races?
        If he doesn’t appear in court he has a whole new problem including the risk of imprisonment, if he goes to court and snubs the race, he hasn’t fulfilled his obligation to his employer and sponsors.

        So much for friendship, why didn’t Sutil wait to find out if he was abducted by aliens before making his comments.

  3. Slr (@slr) said on 2nd February 2012, 8:07

    I’m not sure what to make of the Sutil/Hamilton situation. Sutil clearly feels betrayed, but I’d like to know why Hamilton has decided to cut off all sources of contact with Sutil. I think Hamilton could have at least said something to Sutil. If Hamilton doesn’t want to be friends anymore, then he could tell Sutil rather than leaving him in the dark.

    • dennis (@dennis) said on 2nd February 2012, 9:04

      That’s the bit I don’t understand either.

      “Listen Adrian, I didn’t see anything, because I looked the other way. Sorry, can’t help you. Good luck.”

      What’s the problem?

      • celeste (@celeste) said on 2nd February 2012, 9:44

        Exactly what I think…

        • “but I’d like to know why Hamilton has decided to cut off all sources of contact with Sutil.”

          If my mate bottled someones throat, i dont think i’d wanna be their mate either, let alone goto court and lie on his behalf.

          Anyone saying Hamilton is a coward _seriously_ needs to take a good look at themselves. You are pathetic. In NO other circumstances would you people be saying that its acceptable to big up someone who CLEARLY did something TERRIBLE.

          • What makes you think that Hamilton would have to lie???

          • dennis (@dennis) said on 2nd February 2012, 10:43

            That’s not the point and makes no sense.

            If Lewis knew Sutil did something terrible, then a proper person would testify against him. If he chooses not to -> coward.

            If Lewis saw it wasn’t Sutil’s fault and he decided not to testify -> bad friend AND coward.

            If he didn’t see anything to begin with, I don’t understand why couldn’t just simply tell him and had to cut the contact completely.

          • Because at the end of the day, Lux got bottled, he needed **** loads of stitches in his neck, and he didn’t do it himself. Sutil did a terrible thing and in different circumstances, could have killed the guy. I’m pretty sure Sutil’s life wasnt in danger when he did it, which is the only circumstance i could ever defend someone who would do such a thing.

            At best, all Hamilton could have said was ‘lux was all up in adrians face so adrian retaliated.’

            Even if thats the case, Sutils actions are still not defensible.

            Hamilton does not need to associate himself with people like that.

          • “That’s not the point and makes no sense.”

            It _is_ the point because im sure Sutil didn’t call Hamilton a coward for _not_ testifying _against_ him….

          • dennis (@dennis) said on 2nd February 2012, 11:00

            So basically what you’re saying is that Lewis is no coward, because after Sutil ‘clearly’ (whatever…) did something terrible, Lewis bravely decided not to testify and then – even more bravely – decided to change his phone number so doesn’t have to explain himself to his former friend.

            Did I understand that right?

            I’m not calling Lewis a coward, I just don’t understand the situation, because clearly everyone here is missing something from the picture. Now cut the pro-Lewis flaming…

          • “So basically what you’re saying is that Lewis is no coward, because after Sutil ‘clearly’ (whatever…) did something terrible, Lewis bravely decided not to testify”

            The point im arguing is that Sutil is calling Lewis a coward for not defending him, while now, people with their own agendas are trying to call Lewis a coward for not testifying _against_ him, basically, people are using any amunition they can to rubbish Lewis. Which is probably the reason why Lewis has kept away from this mess, he dosnt need to be dragged down with it.

            and while i’m here, why are you presuming Lewis changed his number because of this? where are you plucking that from? Is this another straw you’re grasping onto?

            It’s things like this that must make Lewis think ‘why do i bother’. someone does something in Lewis presence, has nothing to do with him, and yet its him everyone is now focusing on and using anything they can to bring him down.

          • dennis (@dennis) said on 2nd February 2012, 12:27

            Oh dear… I have no agenda to “rubbish” Lewis. He’s very good at that himself. So he didn’t change his number because of that… Maybe. So what? He still didn’t find it necessary to talk to Adrian – a friend – why.

            Just on a sidenote, it has indeed something to do with him if he was the witness of an assault. You can’t walk by a crime and act like you didn’t see anything. That’s a crime in itself, IF a lie. Now please don’t (on purpose) interpret my wording as another try to talk Lewis down, because I’m sure it is entirely possible he didn’t really see how the fight broke out. I’m just saying…

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 2nd February 2012, 23:23

            @N your argument sits on weak foundation. You say that Hamilton was right to cut all ties with Sutil? All well and good but why now? He didn’t cut ties with him straight after the incident and they were friendly throughout the season. Before the trial Lewis’s father sends Sutil a “good luck” message but Hamilton suddenly goes into hiding. No telling Adrian “sorry mate, you’ve made this mess-you’re on your own”, nothing. How’s that not cowardice? As I said your argument falls like a house of cards.

      • amadeus said on 2nd February 2012, 11:01

        “Listen Adrian, I didn’t see anything, because I looked the other way. Sorry, can’t help you. Good luck.” This is the typical attitude of a coward. If Sutil knew that Hamilton did’t see anything, i don’t think that he counted on his help. On the other hand, playing the victim in this problem won’t help Sutil at all. He wanted, i repeat, nothing but the truth.

  4. amadeus said on 2nd February 2012, 9:55

    Sutil’s upset is very explainable. He didn’t ask Hamilton to do him a favor. Adrian wanted Hamilton’s testify in court because there is a place where THE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH must said and perhaps, his testimony could change the sentence. But he was very comfortable …who knows…. maybe one day in the close or far future he could drive for Renault and….life is long. He is or he is not a coward ?

  5. antonyob (@) said on 2nd February 2012, 10:51

    One of the reasons f1 needs pay drivers is becasue teams like ferrari spend such gargantuan amounts. they have a team of 600 to build a car to finish 5th in a race. But massa is also wrong about f1 and pay drivers. Its always had them, its more that in the last 15 years the sport had moved away from them but post credit crunch has had to look at them again.

    Poor old Lewis, he cant buy a quiet life can he.

  6. Jake (@jleigh) said on 2nd February 2012, 11:01

    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!

    • dennis (@dennis) said on 2nd February 2012, 11:07

      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.

      • Hairs (@hairs) said on 2nd February 2012, 13:05

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

        • Alianora La Canta (@alianora-la-canta) said on 2nd February 2012, 22:22

          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…

  7. 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.

  8. antonyob (@) said on 2nd February 2012, 12:19

    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.

    • 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.

    • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 2nd February 2012, 14:05

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

  9. HUHHII (@huhhii) said on 2nd February 2012, 12:24

    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.

  10. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 2nd February 2012, 14:01

    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.

    • 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:


      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 2nd February 2012, 17:22

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

      • dkpioe said on 2nd February 2012, 17:48

        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.

        • 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.

          • Jake (@jleigh) said on 2nd February 2012, 20:00

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

          • @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.

        • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 2nd February 2012, 19:13

          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! :)

        • TheMaximus said on 2nd February 2012, 20:50

          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.

  11. The Limit said on 2nd February 2012, 14:12

    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!

  12. Maciek (@maciek) said on 2nd February 2012, 14:38

    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.

    • 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.

      • 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 ?

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

          • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 3rd February 2012, 3:25

            @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!

  13. driftin said on 2nd February 2012, 16:06

    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.

  14. Slr (@slr) said on 2nd February 2012, 16:46

    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.

  15. dkpioe said on 2nd February 2012, 17:13

    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

    • OOliver said on 3rd February 2012, 1:20

      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.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.