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Adrian Sutil in court: important questions still unanswered

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Adrian Sutil in court
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I m proceedings Adrian Sutil against Eric Lux indicated himself on the first Day a decision. During the lunch break, Sutil manager Manfred Zimmermann signaled interest in an agreement to the other side. The defense attorney for Lux stressed that such a procedure in the middle of the process was inappropriate, but wanted to at least listen to the offer.

After the hearings, the two parties with their legal advisers stood in the hall for a long time in the evening of the Munich District Court to play through possible scenarios. If both sides agree on a solution, only public prosecutor Nicole Selzam has to give her consent. If all parties reach an agreement early on Tuesday, the proceedings could be brought to an end relatively quickly without any further consequences for Sutil.

Hamilton cannot remember

As judge Christiane Thiemann the meeting opened on Monday (January 30th) at 9:05 a.m., it didn't look like it at first. With the help of the testimony, the aim was to find the truth. The question was: what exactly happened on the late night of April 17th at the Shanghai Mint Club? What led to the serious injury of Renault co-owner Eric Lux?

In the first hours of the proceedings, the two main characters had their say. The course of the night of the crime was reconstructed every minute. Sutil explained that he wanted to celebrate with the Chinese GP winner Lewis Hamilton in the Shanghai Mint Club when a glass was tipped over his trousers in the locked VIP lounge. After the 29-year-old had annoyed the polluter, Lux suddenly appeared at the table.

Incident at 2.46 a.m.

The Luxembourg businessman had reserved a few tables in the VIP area and demanded that Sutil respect his guests. 'He said to me: Do you know that I am a Formula 1 driver? Then I said: Do you know that I am a Formula 1 team owner?' Said Lux ​​about the unusual idea. At 2:46 a.m., Lux came to Sutil and Hamilton's table for the second time. This time it wasn't just an exchange of words. Lux leaned down to Sutil, who was seated on a red couch. Lux came very close to the F1 driver, to which he responded with a hand movement in the direction of his neck.

The court must now clarify whether this is a 'push', as Sutil claims, or a ' Blow 'as described by Lux.According to Sutil, he felt threatened in the overcrowded area. Lux approached him aggressively. His counterpart said no.

One person who could have cleared up the whole thing was Lewis Hamilton. The McLaren driver was sitting next to Sutil on the couch. The Briton was called as a witness, but could not appear in Munich because of professional appointments. In writing, he submitted the statement to the court that he could not remember the decisive scene anyway.

Jerome D'Ambrosio had appeared as a witness in the courthouse on Nymphenburger Strasse. The then Virgin pilot was also there that night, but could only contribute to a limited extent to the establishment of the truth. The Belgian testified that he heard a clink of the glass but did not know where it came from. The defense tried to use the video images to prove to the new Lotus substitute that he had looked in the direction of the contending parties.

Was Sutil threatened?

The question raised by the court The most important answer is whether Lux gave his counterpart a reason to feel threatened. Sutil stated that he acted out of reflex. 'It all happened so quickly. At first I hadn't even noticed that I had a glass in my hand. It wasn't until later that I also realized that I had injured my hand.'

The consequences of the argument were still clearly visible on Eric Lux's neck nine months after the incident. A nine centimeter long scar sticks out on the left side above the shirt collar. Some fragments of glass are still under the skin, the plaintiff stated. The day after the incident, he could not move his head properly, was in severe pain, and complained of a lack of feeling in the ear.

The medical expert confirmed that the glass penetrated the skin only an inch away from important blood vessels . According to the expert, the consequences could have been potentially life-threatening. Lux defender Eberhard Kempf was satisfied with the doctor's opinion. 'He confirmed that the injury was not simply caused by an en-passant movement, but that medium strength was required.'

Lux complains about a lack of communication with Sutil

Lux once again expressed his incomprehension that Sutil had not apologized to him personally immediately after the crime. The Formula 1 driver tried unsuccessfully to reach him on his cell phone that night, but then flew back to Zurich at 9 a.m. with the plane he had booked long before. 'It wouldn't have been difficult to find my hotel,' criticized Lux.

The first personal apology came only seven months after the incident at the last race in Brazil. Sutil had spoken to Lux over breakfast and the injury to hisOpposite regrets.

It is also exciting how the two parties initially wanted to settle the matter. According to Sutil, Lux had asked for 'a two-digit million sum'. The proposal to suspend some races was also in the room. The negotiations failed because of the completely exaggerated ideas of the other side, according to Sutil.

Out of court settlement so far impossible

The Sutil side did not negotiate with Lux personally. The talks also went on with his business partner Gerard Lopez. 'He made it difficult for us,' said Sutil of the attempts to reach an out-of-court settlement. 'He wanted to destroy me. He wanted to ruin my Formula 1 career and that I would go to jail for years,' said the Force India driver at the time.

Sutil's defender Jürgen Wessing indicated possible in the questioning of Lux Motives for calling for the abandonment of some Grand Prix starts. Would that give Renault an advantage in the constructors' cup? Would one of the young drivers from the Lux driver squad have had a chance of a job? 'Lux denied decidedly.' I didn't think of that for a second. '

During the hearing, the video of the incident was also shown. Sutil's manager Manfred Zimmermann, who was also invited as a witness, had a large television set 'The pictures are really bad,' even defense attorney Wessing had to admit. 'I watched it 40 to 50 times and split the video into 15,000 individual pictures.

Wessings described the trial during the lunch break as 'uphill battle' - as a tough battle. 'This is the Munich judiciary - acquittals are not common here.' Maybe that's a reason for the last-minute attempt to reach an out-of-court settlement

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