It seems that the only seat Adrian Sutil might find himself sitting in during 2012 will be in a courthouse, with the German finally being hit with criminal charges stemming from his alleged ‘glassing’ of Eric Lux, senior figure within the Lotus F1 team, at Shanghai last year.
In the wake of the attempted murder charges laid against former F1 driver Jos Verstappen earlier this week, it would seem that assault charges are the flavour of the month in January…
It is alleged that Sutil stabbed Lux in the neck with a broken champagne flute at a Shanghai nightclub party celebrating Lewis Hamilton’s win at the Chinese Grand Prix.
After months of speculation over whether he would be criminally charged or civilly sued (or both, or neither), Sutil found himself dropped from Force India’s line-up, despite emerging as one of 2011’s most impressive drivers.
But the matter has now been brought before the Munich courts, with the pair reportedly having been unable to agree to settle the matter out of court. The prosecution has charged him with inflicting greivous bodily harm on Lux, and is pushing for a one-year suspended jail sentence if the German is prepared to admit guilt.
A report in the German-language Kleine Zeitung newspaper claims that Sutil will defend the charges on the grounds that he never intended to injure Lux with the flute, but rather to throw the contents of the glass in his face.
Lux required twenty stiches stemming from his injuries.
The matter is set to be heard in late January over two days, where it is believed that CCTV footage and witness testimony (possibly including Lewis Hamilton) will be taken.
In any case and (sadly, it would seem) regardless of him being proven innocent or guilty, the matter will surely sound the death knell for Sutil’s hopes of securing the available race seat at Williams next year. The team is unlikely to want to have its name associated with the potential embarrassment that may stem from a criminal verdict against one of its drivers.
FEATURE: Crime in motorsport? CLICK HERE to learn more about F1’s greatest felons!