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Sutil faces assault charge

ESPNF1 Staff
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Adrian Sutil faces a nervous wait to see what happens following the incident in Shanghai © Sutton Images
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Adrian Sutil has received noticeably short-term backing from Force India after it emerged he was facing an assault charge.

What appeared at first to be a lot of smoke with little fire could turn out to be something altogether more serious after it emerged Eric Lux, a Renault executive, is considering taking legal action against Sutil following an altercation in the hours following the Chinese Grand Prix.

Force India released a statement saying it was aware of the incident, and that "Although the team continues to monitor the situation, it remains fully committed to its driver line-up at this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix."

The Times quoted Lux's lawyers as saying their client would file a complaint. "In the view of the recent events which occurred in Shanghai on April 17, Mr Eric Lux has decided to file a criminal complaint against Mr Adrian Sutil for physical assault and grievous bodily harm," a statement from Lux's Swiss lawyers said. "As soon as the complaint is registered, the FIA and the team Force India will be notified. Furthermore, please note that Mr Lux does not exclude commencing an action against any other persons involved in this matter."

The newspaper said the trouble came soon after Sutil arrived at a bar in Shanghai following the Chinese Grand Prix. He was shown to a VIP area and witnesses stated an altercation followed and Lux left with blood streaming from a cut on his neck.

In a statement, Sutil said: "During a private event, there was a very unfortunate action by me in which I hurt another person completely unintentionally. I regret the incident and have apologised accordingly."

Sutil's manager Manfred Zimmerman has since added that his driver will fight any legal action and reiterated that it was an "unfortunate accident".

"In recent weeks Adrian has made several attempts to make contact with Mr Lux with no success," Zimmerman told the German press. "Should there be an indictment, we will fight it. Anyone who knows Adrian knows that he would not intentionally hurt anybody. When it comes to this injury, Adrian regrets it very much but it was an unfortunate accident with no intention."

It seemed it would be treated as a private matter, but news that Lux plans to take things further could prove a huge embarrassment - not to mention a distraction - for Sutil and his team.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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