|© AP Photo/Luca Bruno
A fallout between former friends Lewis Hamilton and Adrian Sutil is yet to be resolved but the German’s return to Formula 1 could give the pair an opportunity to reconcile their differences.
Sutil was dropped by Force India at the end of the 2011 season, shortly after which the 30-year-old was convicted of assault of a team owner in a nightclub in China, where Hamilton was present too.
Hamilton had declined to testify during the trial which prompted Sutil to call the Briton a "coward" stating that he couldn’t even reach the 2008 world champion on his mobile phone at the time.
Sutil said that he didn’t want to be “friends with someone like that” in what he described as a difficult few months.
Now back in F1, Sutil admitted that he erred on his part referring to the assault but pointed out that he deserved a second chance.
"I don't think there is a single person here who never made a mistake," he was quoted saying by the BBC. "My one was maybe a different one and was very public... Of course it is a tough business, but no one is perfect and that is why life is an adventure."
When asked if things were now smooth between the ex-pals, he clarified, “We have no relationship at the moment. I never saw him, I never spoke to him. For sure I will meet up with him, but I don't know what will happen."
"Lewis is a coward. I don't want to be friends with someone like that. For me, he's not a man. Even his father sent me an sms wishing me luck at the trial. I got nothing from Lewis. He changed his mobile number. I couldn't reach him." - Sutil, Feb 2012
Hamilton however said that he tried to make contact with the Force India driver a couple of times and had hoped for the best for Sutil.
"I emailed him a while ago when I heard he might be getting the seat and I just said I would say a prayer for him and hope he gets it because he really deserves it,” the Mercedes driver said.
"I emailed him as soon as I found out (that Sutil was back in F1) to say congratulations. I haven't heard back from him but I'm sure at some stage we'll get to talk.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing him because I haven't seen him for a while. I called ages ago and got his friend on the phone who was one of our good friends, or who used to be a good friend, and he kind of intervened,” he added.