Michael Schumacher's family deserve better after 'clumsy' joke about F1 icon

Michael Schumacher F1

Michael Schumacher hasn't been seen in public since a skiing accident in 2013

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 03/10/2023

- 08:57

The 54-year-old hasn't been seen in public for over a decade

Last week, a Spanish pundit decided to callously mock Michael Schumacher live on TV.

The German's name was brought up during a conversation after the Japanese Grand Prix by pundit Antonio Lobato, who caused outrage with what he said.

A fellow pundit joked that Red Bull engineer Adrian Newey should be 'trembling' because Lobato was 'coming'.

Yet the Spaniard then quipped: "Let Michael tremble! Well... not Michael, he cannot tremble."

F1 Michael Schumacher

The world has long wished for the best for F1 icon Michael Schumacher


Understandably, there was a strong backlash online.

Some called for him to be sacked by DAZN but that's yet to happen. Instead, there was an apology.

Lobato explained he had thought of Schumacher as an example of a record-breaker before realising the phrasing of his words could be misconstrued.

He apologised and said he had been 'clumsy' in trying to correct himself, knowing it looked as though he was making light of Schumacher's condition.

He said: "I didn’t regret naming him but, at the time of doing it, it was just to look for a reference of historical brilliance and legend in F1.

"I did say I should have said Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher has a complicated enough situation for him and his family."

He added: "It was simply a mistake of pure clumsiness, of pure inability to express myself correctly, maybe because of too many hours up, jet lag in Madrid, or whatever – which is not an excuse for those of you who didn’t see it."

But for the Schumacher family, it's not what they need.

They have already had to contend with someone close trying to sell pictures of the stricken Ferrari icon for huge sums a few years ago.

Fortunately, the publication that was offered those snaps turned them down and alerted the family.

Then, back in April, a German magazine was widely condemned for featuring an 'interview' with Schumacher.

Instead, they used an AI chatbot to secure the fake quotes.

The editor of Die Aktuelle was later fired with the Schumacher family threatening to take legal action against the publication.

The Schumachers like to keep Michael's condition private. That has been the case ever since his skiing accident back in 2013 when he hit his head on a rock and sustained terrible injuries.

What we do know is the 54-year-old is 'different' than before.

Wife Corinna said in a 2021 Netflix documentary: “Everybody misses Michael, but Michael is here.

"Different, but he’s here and that gives us strength, I find.”

She added: “We try to carry on as a family as Michael liked it and still does.

"And we are getting on with our lives.”

And when quizzed on why the Schumacher family keep updates to a minimum, she continued by saying: “Private is private,’ as he always said."


Corinna Schumacher

Corinna Schumacher has always kept updates on husband Michael to a minimum


“It is very important to me that he can continue to enjoy his private life as much as possible.”

Lobato knows he made a blunder. A 'clumsy' one, something he's admitted.

But when it comes to Schumacher, huge sensitivity is required. And that's something that's crucial for everybody close to F1 legend.

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