23 May 2013
Sutil: Nothing has changed in Hamilton 'relationship'
Adrian Sutil says that little has changed in his strained relationship with former team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Adrian Sutil has revealed that he is still waiting for Lewis Hamilton to make time for 'clear the air' talks following their 2011 fall-out.
The pair used to be close friends, stemming from their times as team-mates at ASM in the F3 Euroseries, but Hamilton's refusal to testify on Sutil's behalf during the German's GBH trial caused a rift that has yet to fully heal.
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 following an incident in a Shanghai nightclub. 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 2013 campaign, Sutil returned to Force India, with Hamilton revealing that he had 'said a prayer' for his former colleague. The Briton also said that he hoped to sit down with Sutil to discuss the matter but, after five rounds of the 2013 season, that has yet to happen.
“Things are different, definitely,” Hamilton admitted when he appeared alongside Sutil in Wednesday's press conference in Monaco, “We've spoken a couple of times and we've planned to get together at some stage and just have a chat basically.
“We've been great friends for a long, long time and we've had some of the best times together along the way, especially in F3. You can only really count your good friends on one hand maybe so, as people say, good friends are hard to come by. I want to make sure we get things right.”
Sutil, however, appeared underwhelmed by the 2008 world champion's attempt to extend the olive branch.
“As he said, yes, [things are] different and I'm still waiting for a coming together,” he noted, “I can't say anything more.”
Hamilton was also quizzed on his relationship with current team-mate Nico Rosberg, a friend and rival stretching back to their days in the same kart team.
“We're neighbours, next door neighbours, but we're team-mates too,” he revealed, “We work hard together to try and push this team forward. Obviously, we have a lot of history together from being team-mates and friends since 1997, so we've known each other for a long, long time. Naturally, we have a friendship but, of course, ultimately, we are fierce competitors.”
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