Adrian Sutil says he is yet to speak to Lewis Hamilton since their falling out
Hamilton keen to mend fences after falling out
By Mike Wise at Barcelona. Last Updated: 28/02/13 7:02pm
Adrian Sutil: Has yet to speak to former friend Lewis Hamilton
Adrian Sutil, who fell out with Lewis Hamilton after the latter didn't give evidence at his assault trial last year, said on Thursday that he has yet to make up with his erstwhile friend.
The German, who is returning to Force India after a year out of Formula 1, told Sky Sports F1's David Croft during live coverage of Day One of the Barcelona test that he had not spoken to Hamilton since the trial, which was held in January 2012.
Sutil, who was subsequently handed an 18-month suspended sentence and fined €200,000 for attacking Lotus F1 team boss Eric Lux with a champagne glass in April 2011, confirmed: "I haven't spoken to him. I have no relationship with him. We had no contact last year."
Given Sutil's reprieve, however, it seems inevitable their paths will cross sooner rather than later and Hamilton, whose Chinese Grand Prix victory they were celebrating when the assault occurred, appears keen to mend fences.
Sutil to drive for Force India
Speaking during his press briefing on Thursday night, Hamilton revealed: "I emailed him a couple of times and I emailed him a while ago saying that I heard that he could get the seat and that I hoped he would because he deserved it.
"I also emailed him on the way here as soon as I found out, saying congratulations, and that I was happy for him. I haven't heard back from him but I'm sure at some stage we will get to talk.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing him, I think it's a great opportunity for him, I really, really wish him well for the year and in the messages I sent I said to him that I hope he goes out there and proves it was the right decision."
The decision was certainly a long time in coming, but Sutil reckons he deserves it. "In the last days I had a very good feeling it was going to go through. Today I got the message at 12 o'clock or 12:30. It's a very happy moment," he said.
"It just shows that you should never give up. If you work hard on it and you believe in it, you get a second chance. Everybody deserves a second chance.
He added: "Everyone can do mistakes in life I think. If you never do mistakes, you will never grow. I don't think there's a single person here who has never done a mistake. My one was maybe a different one and it was very public but others ones are probably even worse - and no-one's talking about them."
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Sutil, whose best result to date is a fourth place at the 2009 Italian Grand Prix, has certainly set his sights high.
"I had a good season in 2011 and I want to compete with the best this year. The goals are much higher; I saw what I could so better, analysed everything and I want to win races," he asserted.
"I want to go to the top. I have clear goals in my life and I'm here to win races and win Championships and I'll work twice as hard to reach my goals.
The 30-year-old has had just one day an F1 car - in Barcelona last week - in the last 15 months but asserted: "I'm fit. I'm very clear in my head. I know what I want. Of course, fitness in the car, I've had practice for just one test so far but I was always living very healthy in the last year and did a lot of sports.
"So from that point of view, I've no doubt I'm in really good shape."