Adrian Sutil could face up to a year in prison for his alleged assault on Lotus co-owner Eric Lux during the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix weekend.
Legal proceedings against Sutil have begun in Munich on Thursday for grievous bodlily harm toward Lux, when the pair clashed in the M1NT nightclub in Shanghai last April.
In the scuffle, it’s believed the then Force India driver attempted to throw the contents of his champagne glass over Lux, but managed to slit the Luxembourgian entrepreneurs neck with his glass, narrowly missing a major artery. Lux was seen leaving the club in a bloodied white shirt and required 24-stitches to the wound.
Sutil admits to having confronted Lux, but wholly denies he intended to harm the Lotus director.
Lux filed a criminal report back in May to proceed with criminal proceedings against the German. If found guilty, Sutil could face a year in prison, though it’s likely any sentence would be suspended with bail.
Sutil’s manager, Manfred Zimmermann, welcomed the proceedings and believes they will find his client not guilty.
“We are convinced that the court will come to the conclusion that there was no intentional attack,” he said. “We feel good. So the truth will come out.”
Lewis Hamilton, a close friend who was present at the time of the attack, though not involved, could be called as a key witness to the events.
It’s also rumoured that the 29-year-old is banned from entering China on criminal grounds, which it’s believed is partly the reason as to why Williams, with whom Sutil had a chance of joining for 2012, are now against the idea.
Sutil is unlikely to find a seat for the 2012 season, with Williams likely to choose between Rubens Barrichello and Bruno Senna, whilst the only remaining seat lies with HRT.