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Hamilton says no to Sutil trial appearance date

Lewis Hamilton has told a Munich court he is not available to testify next week at friend Adrian Sutil’s assault trial.

A court spokeswoman confirmed last week that it was “mandatory” the 2008 world champion appear as a witness on the opening day, 30 January.

Former Force India driver Adrian Sutil is charged with injuring Lotus team executive Eric Lux during a private party in Shanghai last April to celebrate Hamilton’s grand prix victory.

The BBC reports that Hamilton’s lawyer told the judge the 27-year-old Briton wants to cooperate but has commitments on 30 January, which is two days before McLaren plans to launch its 2012 car.

The report said the trial could either be rescheduled or Hamilton “will be excused”.

The Telegraph insists Hamilton did not receive a “formal request” from the Munich court but that his lawyer contacted the judge following last week’s media reports.

McLaren has confirmed the accuracy of the latest developments, according to Reuters.