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The internet is aflutter, as the news that Force India driver Adrian Sutil was involved in an incident with a Renault official in a Chinese nightclub after the Shanghai race has spawned rumour after rumour.
While there has been no official report of the incident from either the police or the nightclub owners, Sutil is believed to have been celebrating Lewis Hamilton's win at Shanghai's M1NT nightclub after the race. Clubbers report that Genii's Eric Lux was seen running from the VIP room with a bleeding neck, and fingers were pointed at Sutil. Hamilton, who was not involved in the incident, was swiftly removed from the scene by his bodyguards.
Lux was seen wearing a bandage around his neck in the Istanbul paddock last weekend.
Speaking to Italian website 422race.com, Renault owner Gerard Lopez said "I can confirm that there has been an incident on Sunday after the Chinese GP involving Eric Lux, from Genii Capital. Lotus Renault GP is however not in a position to make any comments, as it is a private matter between Eric and the other person."
Asked for comment, a Force India representative said "it is a private matter between the parties involved and we don't have any information on that, so we don't want to make any comment."
Sutil gave a statement to German newspaper Bild in which he said that the incident was an accident, and asked that his privacy be respected.
"After the race for the Grand Prix of China on 17 April 2011 I was at an event," said Sutil in the statementement. "At this event, which I attended as a private person, there was a very unfortunate action by me, in which I hurt another person completely unintentionally. I regret the incident and have apologized accordingly. Since this is a private incident involved that is not directly related to Formula 1 or my job as a Formula 1 driver is, I ask for understanding that I continue to say this incident was not me."
While the bare bones of the story could point to an accident or a fight, the lack of details has not stopped the tale from added embellishments with every re-telling.
According to French journalist Cedric Voisard, who writes an F1 blog for Le Figaro, Hamilton and Sutil arrived at M1NT to find the VIP room full. The club found space for the pair, and Sutil began to behave badly. Lux is said to have asked the German driver to calm down, at which point Voisard claims that Sutil broke a champagne flute and cut Lux's throat, drawing blood.
Voisard concludes by saying that the matter has been referred to the courts.
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