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A silly spat

NEWS STORY
01/03/2013

Back in an F1 car with a regular drive after a year's enforced absence, Adrian Sutil has immediately become embroiled in a needless media spat with former teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Other than getting to know one another as they rose through the ranks in Karting, the two were paired at ASM in the F3 Euroseries in 2005, and have remained good friends ever since.

However, having been confirmed as Paul di Resta's teammate at Force India yesterday, it was clear that Sutil still resents the Englishman after he opted not to give evidence on his behalf when being tried for the nightclub incident in Shanghai in 2011 which threatened his liberty. Hamilton, who was with Sutil when the incident occurred, subsequently opted not to testify in court. The move still clearly rankles the German.

"I'm not in contact with him any more so we have no relationship at the moment," he told reporters. "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."

For his part, Hamilton, when asked, admitted his delight at Sutil's return to the F1 paddock, even though it is clear the German still harbours a grudge.

"I've emailed him several times," he told reporters. "A while ago when I heard there was potential that he would get the (Force India) seat I said I would pray for him, that I hoped he gets it, that he deserves it and that I hope to see him back in F1.

"Then I emailed him on the way here as soon as I found out and said congratulations, I'm really happy for him," he continued before revealing that there had been no response to his emails. "I haven't heard back from him but I'm sure at some stage we will get to talk," said the Mercedes driver. "I'm looking forward to seeing him; I haven't seen him for a while."

Referring to the incident that almost ended his F1 career, Sutil said: "If you never make mistakes you will never grow. I don't think there is a single person here who never made a mistake. My one was maybe a different one and was very public. There are others probably even worse, but no one talks about them.

"Whenever someone does something wrong I always give them the opportunity to show they are still a good person," he continued. "I will give them a second chance. I see it being very similar here. Of course it is a tough business, but no one is perfect and that is why life is an adventure."

Asked about the season ahead, which gets underway in just two week, he said: "Having been away from the sport, I'm even more determined to achieve my goals in Formula One. We are still a small team, but I am sure we can have a very good season.

"My targets are very high. I am not here to race for fifth or sixth position. I want to go on the podium. I want to win in the future and be one of the best drivers in the world in F1."

In a word guys, sort it, life's too short. And in your line of work, the last thing you need is to be fuelled by a grudge.

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