F1 2023: Pundit Antonio Lobato apologises for offensive Michael Schumacher ‘shaking’ comment on live TV

A Formula One pundit has been forced to apologise after making an insensitive joke about Michael Schumacher on live TV.

Schumacher’s name was bought up during a post-race discussion on Spanish TV after the Japanese Grand Prix by pundit Antonio Lobato, The Sun reports.

The insensitive comment quickly spread online and sparked outrage among fans by making light of the F1 legend’s poor health.

Watch every Practice, Qualifier & Race of The 2023 FIA Formula One World Championship Live and Ad-Break Free in racing on Kayo Sports. Join now and start streaming instantly >

A fellow pundit said in Spanish: “Let Adrian Newey (Red Bull’s chief technical officer) be shaking because Antonio Lobato is coming.”

Lobato responded with: “Let Michael be shaking! Well… not Michael, he cannot shake.”

The pundit then goes on to laugh with his fellow broadcasters- Noemi de Miguel, Pedro de la Rosa and Toni Cuquerella after the joke.

It had many demanding Lobato apologise to Schumacher’s family and some even suggesting he should be sacked by DAZN.

“An apology would be the minimum, a sign of decency,” one person wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“You don’t disrespect ANYONE that way, especially when thousands of people are watching you. Journalism in Spain has a very bright present and future with people like this,” they added.

A third commented: “Using someone’s medical condition as the punchline of a joke is unacceptable and abhorrent.

“Michael is beloved and respected in this sport and (Lobato) doesn’t deserve the platform he is given.”

Since then Lobato has come out with an apology video on X.

The five minute long video explained the “accident” as Lobato tried to justify what happened.

He said: “I made a mistake without any bad intentions.

”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.

“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, no.

“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.”

He went on to say: “For the record, the first one who was f***ed up when I said that sentence was me.

“I said how can you say that, man, it’s going to be misinterpreted.

“That’s not what you meant.

“You meant to say something else and it didn’t come out right.

“So the only thing I have to do, I think it’s fundamental, is to apologise to all those who felt offended by that phrase yesterday.

“I really, really mean it.

“It was not my intention to say it to laugh, nor to make any kind of joke with Michael, whom I knew, whom I admire, and whom I think is a reference and who I think was quite unlucky.”

Fans were split on the apology with many feeling that the incident has been taken out of context and overblown.

Many comments felt like Lobato wasn’t laughing at his joke but instead bantering with his fellow panellists about who had the most titles in F1.

Red Bull wrapped up this year’s constructors’ championship at the Japanese Grand Prix, giving Newey his 12th F1 title overall across three different teams.

Schumacher, considered by many to be the greatest driver in Formula One history, hasn’t been seen in public since his life-changing skiing accident nearly a decade ago.

The seven-time Formula One champion suffered a horrific ski accident while with his son Mick, on the slopes above Méribel in the French Alps in 2013.

He fell and hit his head on a rock while crossing an off-piste area, suffering a serious head injury despite wearing a ski helmet.

Doctors said he would most likely have died had he not been wearing the safety gear.

The world champ was airlifted to Grenoble Hospital and went through two major operations.

He was put into a medically induced coma until June 2014 when he was sent home to rehabilitate in Switzerland.

Michael has not been seen in public ever since – with any information about his condition tightly controlled by his privacy-focused family led by wife Corinna.

His ex-teammate Johnny Herbert has even said recently that his friends are often left in the dark about his condition and health.

This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission.

Leave a Comment