Spanish F1 pundit apologises joke about Michael Schumacher's condition

Spanish F1 pundit apologises for joking about Michael Schumacher’s physical condition after the legend’s skiing accident… blaming his ‘clumsy’ comment on ‘jet lag’

  • Pundit Antonio Lobato faced a backlash to comments made on live television
  • Lobato has posted a video to apologise for his clumsy Schumacher remark
  • Mail Sport’s new WhatsApp Channel: Get the breaking news and exclusives here

Spanish F1 pundit Antonio Lobato has issued an apology for making a joke about Michael Schumacher’s physical condition on live television, with the commentator blaming his ‘clumsy’ remark on jet lag.

Lobato faced a backlash from F1 fans following a comment made during Spanish television coverage of the Japanese Grand Prix.

One pundit had said on the coverage ‘Let [Red Bull engineer] Adrian Newey be shaking because Antonio Lobato is coming’. 

Lobato himself responded: ‘Let Michael be shaking! Well… not Michael, he cannot shake.’

The 58-year-old journalist has faced calls to resign after his comment about Schumacher’s condition.

Spanish F1 pundit Antonio Lobato has issued an apology for a joke about Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher (pictured in 2012) hasn’t been in public since a skiing accident in 2013

Schumacher had a skiing accident in December 2013 and was put in a medically induced coma. He hasn’t appeared publicly ever since.

The former Formula One driver – who won seven world championships – is cared for by a team of medical staff, and his wife Corinna, at their Lake Geneva home. 

Lobato posted a five minute video on X, formerly Twitter, to apologise for his remark during the show which he labelled as ‘pure clumsiness’.

‘I made a mistake without any bad intentions,’ Lobato said, as per Marca.

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

‘What happened is that I went too far and made an expression that is not good, it is not accurate, it is not fine.

‘I didn’t mean to make a joke, I didn’t mean to make fun of Michael Schumacher.

‘I think that everyone who knows me and knows what I’m like knows perfectly well that I would never make a joke about something like that. Never, but I was clumsy.’

Lobato claimed he had been attempting to make a reference to a legendary figure within the sport to compare to Newey.

It followed Red Bull’s triumph in the constructors championship, meaning 12 cars designed by the engineer have won the classification during his career.

Schumacher’s wife Corinna (pictured together skiing in 2005) has kept his condition private

German mag Die Aktuelle claimed to have an ‘exclusive interview’ with Michael Schumacher

Lobato suggested he should have instead have referenced Lewis Hamilton rather than Schumacher to avoid the ‘complicated situation’ faced by the F1 great and his family.

Earlier this month, former F1 driver Johnny Herbert – Schumacher’s team-mate at Benetton – revealed that the legend is ‘not close’ to returning to his former self. 

‘There’s never any news. What we do know is we never hear any positive news,’ Herbert said.

In April, a German magazine was labelled as ‘stupid’ after they promoted an ‘exclusive interview’ with Michael Schumacher on the front cover of their latest edition – only to later reveal the fake quotes were generated via Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

A secrecy remains about his condition and so heads turned when German magazine Die Aktuelle revealed an ‘exclusive interview’ with the stricken driver. 

The front cover, dated April 15, 2023, included the exclusive tag, as well as a picture of a smiling Schumacher. They went on to claim it was ‘the first interview’ he had given since his skiing accident.

The article, which does not feature a byline, continued before ending with an admission that the quotes are in fact fake and they have not spoken to Schumacher or anyone in the family. 

‘Did Michael Schumacher really say everything himself? The interview was online. On a page that has to do with artificial intelligence, or AI for short,’ the piece concluded.

Immediately F1 fans condemned the magazine for its ‘lack of decency’ and the ‘shame’ in purpoting to have spoken to Schumacher. 

German media expert Boris Rosenkranz wrote a comment piece labelling the stunt ‘Too stupid to be true’. 

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