Feb.21 (GMM/Inautonews.com) A former world champion has dealt Lewis Hamilton a mild rebuke after the Briton refused to appear at Adrian Sutil’s assault trial.

Not only did the McLaren driver defer to his team’s looming car launch date rather than leap to his former friend’s aid in Munich, he has also refused to contact Sutil or answer a single question on the matter posed by the media.

Sutil’s father has called the 2008 world champion “pathetic” while the former Force India driver himself described Hamilton as a “coward”.

“I don’t know whether you’d call him a coward,” 1980 title winner Alan Jones told GMM/Inautonews.com, “but I don’t know whether I’d like to have him in the trenches with me.”

Hamilton, who recently reunited with his girlfriend Nicole, had a tumultuous 2011 season and so this year will be accompanied to races by experienced manager Didier Coton.

When involved with Mika Hakkinen’s career, Coton worked for the management company headed by Keke Rosberg.

“In the past, Lewis has certainly made mistakes in the professional organisation of his life,” Rosberg, backing the changes Hamilton is making, commented to the Finnish broadcaster MTV3.

“You can’t go flying every other week to America when you’re making a serious job of being a formula one driver,” he said.

Keke Rosberg also questioned a recent claim made by the 27-year-old Briton.

“He says he wants to win all the races this season. That’s quite a claim.

“I would think Jenson Button wonders how he will do it when he will probably win a few races in the same car,” said Rosberg.