Berthold Bouman, F1 correspondent
Adrian Sutil has to face a German court for his alleged assault on Eric Lux, co-owner of Luxembourg Investment Company Genii and co-owner of the current Lotus Formula One team led by Eric Boullier.
The German Formula One driver has to face court after he, according to Lux, wounded him with a glass in the M1NT discotheque in Shanghai, China, the night after the Chinese Grand Prix on April 17 last year.
Lux sustained injuries on the left side of his neck, was brought to hospital by a taxi where the severe cut was closed with 24 stitches. A surgeon told him the cut was just millimetres away from an important facial nerve.
Lux reported at the time to German newspaper FAZ he had been brought to the elevator by the security personnel of the discotheque and only then understood the severity of his injuries.
He stated to FAZ, “I realized only in the elevator, what had happened, and thought now you have three minutes to live!”
According to FAZ, Sutil’s Manager Manfred Zimmermann is still confident his protégé did not attack Lux deliberately, and in fact just tried to pour the content of his glass in Lux’ face.
The by Force India ousted driver had earlier tried to settle the case and has apologized to Lux and Genii for the incident, but the Munich District Court today ruled it was not an ordinary accident and Sutil is now charged with ‘causing grievous bodily harm’.
Interesting detail is that long-time race friend Lewis Hamilton could be asked to testify before the Munich Court, as the McLaren driver has witnessed the incident.
The decision came after months of deliberations of the Munich Court and the Public Prosecutor, and Sutil could face one year of imprisonment if found guilty.
According to the Public Prosecutor anything is possible, Sutil could be sentenced but could also be acquitted.
The 29-year German driver is currently without a race seat as he was replaced by Nico Hulkenberg, and this news will make it even harder for him to find a team for this season.