3 Feb 2012

FI driver brands Hamilton a coward

12:20 pm on 3 February 2012

The German Formula One driver Adrian Sutil has called fellow racer Lewis Hamilton a "coward", saying he no longer regards him as a friend for failing to appear as a witness in his trial on an assault charge.

In a Munich court on Thursday Sutil was given an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for three years, after being convicted of causing bodily harm to Eric Lux, co-owner of the former Renault Lotus team, in a nightclub dispute in Shanghai.

Sutil and Hamilton have been friends on the Formula One circuit for years, and they were together during the incident in Shanghai.

But Hamilton didn't give evidence at the trial, sending a written statement instead, saying he did not see the incident.