Mike Stevens | Feb 1, 2012
  • Suspended sentence, fine, for guilty Sutil
  • Sutil wanted Lotus seat in Lux case settlement
  • No FIA consequences for convicted Sutil - manager
  • Reports hint at Ferrari test for Kubica in June
  • Indycar boss urges Barrichello to switch
  • Abu Dhabi link could power Alguersuari to Mercedes
 

Suspended sentence, fine, for guilty Sutil

A Munich court on Tuesday found Adrian Sutil guilty of grievous bodily harm.

The former Force India driver was on trial for attacking Lotus team executive Eric Lux in a Shanghai nightclub last April.

The court imposed an 18-month suspended jail sentence and ordered the 29-year-old to pay EUR200,000 to charity, the BBC, Associated Press and Reuters has reported.

It is not clear what effect the conviction will have on the status of the German driver's mandatory F1 superlicense.

(GMM)

 

Sutil wanted Lotus seat in Lux case settlement

Adrian Sutil offered to drive for Lotus this year with a discounted retainer, it emerged on Monday. Another proposal, it is reported, was a race seat at Lotus featuring a "reduced salary".

Lux recently dismissed as "a joke" earlier speculation Sutil - charged with causing a nine centimetre cut on Lux's neck with a broken champagne glass - might drive for Lotus in 2012.

The report said Sutil and Lux's lawyers had private talks at the conclusion of Monday's proceedings.

Some previously unheard details of the incident behind the assault charge emerged, including Sutil telling Lux in the Shanghai nightclub: "Don't you know I'm a Formula One driver?"

Lux said he replied: "Don't you know I'm a Formula One team owner?"

Video surveillance footage of the incident showed Sutil seated on a couch next to Lewis Hamilton, who declined to appear as a witness, before Lux approached.

Sutil responded with a gesture - a "nudge" according to the driver - towards Lux's neck. A doctor testified that the injuries necessitated a movement with "medium power".

2008 world champion Hamilton said in a written statement to the court that he could not remember the details of the scuffle.

Former Virgin driver and new Lotus reserve driver Jerome d'Ambrosio, however, did appear, testifying that he heard a glass break.

According to Sutil, it also emerged that Lux demanded a "double digit million sum" in compensation and a voluntary multiple-race GP ban in the middle of last season.

Sutil's lawyer put it to Lux that it would have been an opportunity for one of his team's Genii-managed drivers to drive for Force India.

"I never thought about that for a second," Lux hit back.

(GMM)

 

No FIA consequences for convicted Sutil - manager

Adrian Sutil's manager on Tuesday said the German driver is free to return to F1.

29-year-old Sutil had emerged from a Munich court with a criminal conviction for grievous bodily harm, an 18-month suspended jail term and EUR 200,000 fine.

The former Force India driver also has no job at present.

"I can not say whether anyone in the sport wants to work with me," he was quoted on Tuesday by the SID news agency.

Sutil's manager Manfred Zimmermann, however, said the path is clear for his client to resume his career.

"This (conviction) does not mean Adrian has no future in Formula One. There will be no consequences with the FIA and his driving ability has never suffered."

"The only positive thing is that I am now at peace with Mr Lux. At least it's over," Sutil said after Tuesday's hearing.

"Maybe I'll take a break, maybe I'll do something completely different."

The judge Christiane Thiemann said Sutil is lucky not to be heading to jail.

"Penalties exceeding one year are normally not suspended," said the judge, explaining that Sutil's current situation and his clean criminal record were taken into consideration.

Thiemann added that the punishment is "sufficient" and would probably have "serious professional consequences" for the F1 driver.

(GMM)

 

Reports hint at Ferrari test for Kubica in June

Robert Kubica's comeback could be at the wheel of a turbocharged 2010 Ferrari, according to reports in the Italian media.

It emerged this week that, despite the recent setback of a re-broken leg after an icy fall, the Pole could be only months away from attempting some laps in a F1 simulator.

As for his track return, it is rumoured Ferrari sees Kubica as a potential test driver, with a view to ultimately becoming Fernando Alonso's teammate.

The new Italian reports say a private test at Fiorano in June or July at the wheel of a two-year old Ferrari equipped with the marque's 2014-specification turbo V6 prototype has been set as a tentative target.

The same reports suggest some sort of agreement may have been signed.

The unknown factor is the final phase of Kubica's recovery, with the 27-year-old believed to be still unable to fully rotate his right arm that was almost severed in his rally crash last February.

(GMM)

 

Indycar boss urges Barrichello to switch

Indycar's boss has admitted he would "love" longest-serving F1 veteran Rubens Barrichello to switch codes for 2012.

Having lost his race seat after a record-setting 19 consecutive seasons, the 39-year-old Brazilian is this week testing the 2012 Indycar in Florida, with his close friend and KV team driver Tony Kanaan also in action.

Barrichello has previously ruled out racing on dangerous American ovals, citing a promise to his wife Silvana, but now he is not ruling out the switch.

"By the time he gets out of the car he'll have a pretty good idea what he wants to do," countryman Kanaan said.

"Right now, we don't have anyone signed for the other two cars. You can tell by his face he's having a lot of fun."

Indycar chief executive Randy Bernard is hopeful Barrichello will make the decision to race in 2012.

"He's a champion, a driver who would be a tremendous addition to a series," he is quoted by the Associated Press. "Indycar would love to have him."

Bernard is quoted by racintoday.com: "If there is a transition, I want him to know that we're here to help him."

(GMM)

 

Abu Dhabi link could power Alguersuari to Mercedes

After his Toro Rosso ousting, Jaime Alguersuari could emerge with the Mercedes team in 2012.

The Spanish sports daily AS reports that Ipic, Abu Dhabi's international petroleum investment company, is unhappy with Red Bull for ousting the young Spaniard from its driver programme.

IPIC owns the Spanish oil company Cepsa, which last year became a major Toro Rosso sponsor.

Alguersuari, according to the report, "had become the image of the company in its international expansion plans".

Through its investment vehicle Aabar, Abu Dhabi is also involved in F1 as a significant shareholder and sponsor of the works Mercedes team.

AS said the Abu Dhabi link could see Alguersuari, 21, line up as the official reserve driver for Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg this year.

The report added that an Abu Dhabi-backed Alguersuari could be important to Mercedes, amid rumours the team's title sponsor Petronas might leave the sport.

Petronas, the Malaysian oil company, recently stopped sponsoring the Yamaha team in MotoGP.

(GMM)

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