Cruel Michael Schumacher joke made on Spanish TV leads to angry backlash from F1 fans

25 September 2023, 16:28 | Updated: 25 September 2023, 16:41

Michael Schumacher has been subjected to a cruel joke by Spanish F1 pundit
Michael Schumacher has been subjected to a cruel joke by Spanish F1 pundit. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Spanish F1 pundit Antonio Lobato is facing backlash over a Michael Schumacher joke he made on live TV.

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Schumacher had a skiing accident in December 2013 which left him in a medically induced coma.

The former F1 driver is now cared for by a team of medical staff and has not appeared in public since.

Despite being out of the public eye, the legend's name came up during a discussion between two pundits on Spanish TV following the Japanese Grand Prix.

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One pundit said: "Let [Red Bull engineer] Adrian Newey be shaking because Antonio Lobato is coming."

Lobato responded: "Let Michael be shaking! Well... not Michael, he cannot shake."

The 58-year-old has since faced several calls to resign following the joke.

One fan said: "An apology from [Antonio Lobato] would be the minimum, a sign of decency. You don't disrespect ANYONE that way, especially when thousands of people are watching you."

Another person posted: "Lobato has to resign after what he said about Schumacher today."

Schumacher is widely considered to be the greatest F1 driver of all time. He won seven Drivers' Championships, including five in a row with Ferrari between 2000 and 2004.

Responding to the backlash, Lobato shared a video on X saying: "I think it is necessary to explain and admit that I was wrong."

It comes after former F1 driver Johnny Herbert said earlier this month that Schumacher 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.

"That's the horrible thought that he is still not able to be close to the Michael that we all remember. And that is very sad."