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Force India backs Sutil for Barcelona race only

Force India has indicated it will reassess its commitment to Adrian Sutil after Sunday’s Spanish grand prix.

As the 28-year-old German faces criminal charges for attacking Renault team co-owner Eric Lux last month, Silverstone based Force India issued a media statement.

“Although the team continues to monitor the situation, it remains fully committed to its driver lineup at this weekend’s Spanish grand prix,” it read.

The situation has reminded some of Bertrand Gachot, who lost his Jordan seat in 1991 when he was convicted of attacking a London taxi driver.

Gachot’s seat went to the rookie Michael Schumacher, and twenty years later it is another German, Force India reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg, who stands to benefit.

Sutil’s manager Manfred Zimmerman, however, said the veteran of 75 grands prix intends to fight the charges, as the German newspaper Bild revealed an account of what took place inside Shanghai’s M1nt nightclub.

The report said he has been in contact with Swiss lawyer Lorenz Erni, who two years ago famously defended Roman Polanski.

Bild said it has spoken to eyewitnesses who say Sutil’s friend Lewis Hamilton became nervous when the Chinese nightclub became too crowded with fans.

In the melee, Sutil had a drink spilled on him, which is when Lux intervened.  It is believed Sutil tried to throw his drink onto Lux when the glass broke, cutting the Genii Capital chief executive in the neck.

Another German newspaper Die Welt said Sutil is not stereotypically violent as he “collects modern art”, while “at his farmhouse in Oensingen he sits down to relax at his piano”.