Lewis Hamilton is likely to be called to give evidence at the trial of Adrian Sutil later this month. Sutil will appear in court in Munich charged with assaulting Genii Capital's Eric Lux in a Shanghai nightclub last April.

4176 - Hamilton set for Sutil court date

Court spokesperson Ingrid Kaps told German newspaper Hamburger Morgenpost: "The first day Lewis Hamilton is called as a witness. This is a mandatory appearance." Hamilton was at the club but was not involved in the incident.

The trial starts on January 30, and with McLaren's launch scheduled to take place at the team's headquarters in Surrey on February 1, the timing is far from ideal for Hamilton.

Sutil's manager Manfred Zimmermann, has insisted his client will be exonerated. "We have a video where it can be seen clearly that this was not Adrian attacking or intentionally hurting someone," Zimmermann told PA. "We expect an acquittal, or at worst a conviction for negligent injury. But that would not jeopardise his career."

Aside from his legal troubles, Sutil who is facing a season on the sidelines after being dropped by Force India. The only team yet to confirm its line-up for 2012 is HRT, and a move to the grid's perennial backmarkers would not represent a good career move for someone so highly rated.