Sutil gets 18-month suspended sentence

German driver Adrian Sutil has been given an 18-month suspended sentence and fined 200,000 euros by a court here on Tuesday after being found guilty of causing grevious bodily harm during a nightclub brawl in China.

The 29-year-old, who will drive for Formula One team Force India next season, was found guilty of wounding the neck of Lotus Renault shareholder Eric Lux with the champagne glass in a brawl that broke out during a celebration of his close friend Lewis Hamilton's win in the Chinese Grand Prix last April.

Sutil had apologised during the opening day of the trial on Monday.

"I am terribly sorry, I did not want that to happen," Sutil told the district court in Munich, southern Germany.

The nine-centimetre-long (four-inch-long) cut on Lux's throat required 24 stitches, according to prosecutors, who had offered a suspended sentence of one year in exchange for a guilty plea. Sutil refused.

The driver told the court that he had attempted on several occasions to contact Lux to apologise but that the executive had repeatedly rebuffed him and threatened him with lasting damage to his racing career.

Lux, who was not in the courtroom when Sutil testified, said later that he wanted the driver to say he was sorry in person.

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