It is nice to see that Adrian Sutil is pitching hard for a Force India drive in 2013. There is nothing wrong with a young man having ambition, and we are all entitled to a few mistakes in life, although sticking a broken champagne flute into someone else’s neck is perhaps rather less easy to forgive than punching someone on the nose, or kicking them up the backside. The judge in the case was certainly not very impressed when she dealt with Sutil, convicting him of “Gefährlicher Körperverletzung”, which translates as either grievous bodily harm or aggravated assault. He was given an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for a three year period, plus a fine of €200,000.
When talk began of a comeback with Force India, there were immediately questions about possible problems when it comes to entering all the countries where there are F1 races. Under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), for example, if you have committed or been convicted of a crime, you may not be allowed to enter Canada. In other words, you may be declared “criminally inadmissible.” This occurs for those with convictions for both minor and serious crimes, such as theft, assault, manslaughter, dangerous driving and driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Depending on the crime you commit, how long ago it was and your behaviour since the sentence, you may one day be admissible to Canada again, but you will need to satisfy an immigration officer that you meet the legal requirements to be deemed rehabilitated or that you have been granted a pardon. Getting rehabilitated for a major crime takes about 10 years and getting a pardon is also not the work of the a moment.
However, if Sutil says it is all not a problem then I guess we have to accept that he has done his homework properly and is not just waffling and hoping to get around the problem if he does get the drive.