Force India Formula One driver Paul di Resta (R) of Britain stands in his garage with Anthony Hamilton, father of then McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton, during first practice session for the British F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone, central England, July 8, 2011.
Lewis Hamilton's father's lawsuit against the F1 driver Paul Di Resta for breach of contract and loss of earnings has taken another twist with the news that potentially vital evidence has disappeared.
A box full of computers and mobile phones containing potentially key evidence has gone missing.
It was revealed at the High Court in London that a box full of computers and an estimated 18 Blackberry phones allegedly disappeared from Anthony Hamilton’s house.
Hamilton and Di Resta have fallen over their share of a £4.3 million sponsorship deal with an energy drinks company that resulted in the Force India driver terminating their deal.
Hamilton admitted that electrical equipment, including the computers and phones, went missing when he moved into a new house.
Hamilton said he did not know if the box containing the electronic equipment had been lost or stolen as builders worked on the construction of his new house.
“I could not guarantee whether it was stolen or lost,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton reported the loss of the phones to the Police, but no crime report or insurance claim had been filed.
Paul Downes QC, for Di Resta said that Hamilton knew that the electronic equipment could have contained information that would have be controversial in the case under forensic investigation.
Part of the case is focused on whether or not Hamilton could have helped Di Resta earn a seat in F1 had he been retained as the Scot's manager. Di Resta has been with Force India for the past three years.
Giving evidence Martin Whitmarsh, the McLaren team principal, said drivers who bring sponsor money to earn their drive, win out over talented drivers
"(Di Resta) is good enough but, sadly, F1 is not currently a meritocracy,” said Whitmarsh.
“More than half the drivers are not there on merit.”