Adrian Sutil has indicated his determination to counter charges of physical assault lodged against him following an alleged nightclub fracas in Shanghai last month.
The German is accused of throwing a champagne glass at Genii Capital CEO Eric Lux after the latter told him to 'calm down' during a party in a VIP room at the M1NT club after the Chinese Grand Prix. Lux was left needing stitches after the glass cut his neck, and has not only called for Sutil to faces charges of physical assault and grievous bodily harm but, according to sources close to Crash.net
, to be stripped of the superlicence needed to race in F1 [see story here
Sutil issued an immediate apology for the incident, insisting that it was an accident rather than deliberate, but confirmation that Lux intends to press ahead with legal action has prompted the German to break his ensuing silence and announce that he will contest the charges against him.
"Adrian has already explained [that] his actions in China resulted in the accidental injury of Mr Lux, and has apologised unreservedly for his involvement in this unfortunate event," a statement from the German's manager, Manfred Zimmermann, read, "However, should Mr Lux proceed with his complaint, Adrian will use every available means to clarify his position and clear his name. In the meantime, no further comment will be made on the matter as Adrian continues to focus on the forthcoming races in Barcelona and Monaco."
The Force India
team has already confirmed that it will not be pressed into a line-up change following the revelation that charges are to be brought against Sutil, and will field the German alongside rookie Paul di Resta in this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix. Should the matter escalate, however, the team has former Williams
driver Nico Hulkenberg
on the sidelines, having signed the young German as its official reserve for 2011. Hulkenberg, who claimed pole position at last year's Brazilian Grand Prix, has gained experience of the VJM04 with some impressive performances in Friday morning practice at each of the rounds this season.