Lewis Hamilton has revealed that he 'said a prayer' in order to help speed former F3 team-mate Adrian Sutil's return to the grand prix grid in 2013.
The Briton, who fell out with his friend when Sutil was accused of GBH while celebrating a Hamilton win in the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix, told reporters at the final pre-season test in Barcelona that he hoped to reach out and rebuild the relationship during the 2013 campaign, when Sutil returns to partner Paul di Resta in the Force India line-up.
“I emailed him on the way here, as soon as I found out and congratulated him,” the Mercedes driver revealed, “I had said a prayer for him, that I really hoped he got the seat because he deserved it. I haven't heard back from him, but I am sure at some stage we will get to talk.”
Sutil branded Hamilton 'a coward' after the Briton refused to stand as a witness for the defence in the trial brought by Genii Capital's Eric Lux. The German was eventually convicted of assault and handed an 18-month suspended prison sentence, coincidentally losing his Force India seat to Nico Hulkenberg for 2012. When Hulkenberg moved on to Sauber for the forthcoming campaign, Sutil returned to the frame to partner di Resta, eventually seeing off Ferrari protégé Jules Bianchi ahead of the third and final pre-season test.
Despite Hamilton's attempts at offering an olive branch, however, the German insists that there is still a lot of bridge-building to be done.
"I'm not in contact with him any more, so we have no relationship at the moment,” he claimed, “I've not seen him, I've not spoken to him. For sure, I will meet up with him, but I don't know what will happen."