McLaren Silences Hamilton Over Sutil Verdict

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

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Two days ago, former Force India F1 pilot Adrian Sutil was convicted of “grievous bodily harm” by a German court in regards to his assault on financier Eric Lux.

The fallout from the verdict, it appears, is far from over.

McLaren Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton was expected to appear at Sutil’s trial and testify on his behalf. That never happened, as Hamilton was tied up with "team commitments" leading up to this week’s launch of the new McLaren MP4-27 F1 race car.

As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, Hamilton’s absence didn’t sit well with Sutil, who called his long-time (and now former) friend a coward for his actions.

Sutil went on to declare, “For me he is not a man. Even his father sent me a text message to wish me good luck in the trial.”

Sutil further alleges that Hamilton changed his cell phone number, preventing any possible contact between the two. It’s likely that was done at the request (or demand) of McLaren; when asked about Sutil’s comments, a McLaren spokesman answered before Hamilton could respond.

“We’ve been told that Lewis really shouldn’t go there because it might go under appeal,” the spokesman said. In other words, we’re not saying anything about Sutil, the verdict or the case in general, so move on to the next question.

As for Sutil, he claims to be “considering some time out of the sport.” Given that all the potential F1 driver seats are filled for the 2012 season, Sutil likely doesn’t have any other option.
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