Monaco: Adrian Sutil appeared reluctant to forgive and forget on Wednesday after Lewis Hamilton had hoped for a thaw in their frozen friendship. The two Formula One drivers, team mates in junior series and the best of friends until Sutil was involved in a nightclub fracas in China two years ago, were asked about their damaged relationship at a Monaco Grand Prix news conference.
"Things are definitely different," said Hamilton, the 2008 world champion, sitting on the front row with Sutil looking down from behind. We've spoken a couple of times, and we plan to get together at some stage, just have a chat basically. We've been great friends for a long, long time and had some of the best times together along the way, especially in Formula Three.
"You can generally only count your good friends on one hand, some people say, as good friends are hard to come by," added the Briton. "I want to make sure we get things right".
Sutil, who has returned to Formula One this season after being dropped by his Force India team in 2012, appeared far from conciliatory.
"As Lewis said, yes, it's different. I'm still waiting for a coming together, and I can't say anything more," he said looking straight ahead of him.
The German was given an 18-month suspended jail sentence and fined 200,000 euros for grievous bodily harm after the brawl which happened after the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix won by Hamilton. The incident left Eric Lux, then chief executive of Renault F1 (now Lotus), needing stitches for a neck wound caused by a champagne glass.
Hamilton, then with McLaren, was also present in the nightclub that night. Sutil angrily accused him of cowardice and said he was no longer a friend when the Briton failed to appear as a witness on his behalf at the court case in Munich last year.