Just as the Mercedes board is set to meet on Tuesday, Michael Schumacher is the unhappy subject of an intense round of bad press in his native Germany.
Some publications have nicknamed the seven time world champion ‘Schussel-(clumsy) Schumi’ after his latest mistake in Singapore; the crash with Jean-Eric Vergne that has cost him ten places on the Suzuka grid. And that’s not all. The German media is making a meal of the 43-year-old’s entire Singapore weekend, deriding him for incorrectly calling Frenchman Vergne “Jean-Marc” in an interview.
And Schumacher also reportedly told German journalists ahead of the race weekend that there are 20 points for finishing a grand prix second (there are actually 18), and he also got the timezone difference between Singapore and Europe fundamentally wrong.
“What on earth is going on with Michael Schumacher?” wondered the Hamburger Abendblatt, noting that the great German’s Singapore crash was his third under the floodlights in as many years.
Der Spiegel magazine pointed out that, with Schumacher’s contract expiring, the Mercedes board is scheduled to meet on Tuesday.
“The timing is certainly not beneficial,” admitted Swiss commentator Marc Surer.
Another Schumacher gaffe in Singapore was his admission to being in the toilet when the rest of the F1 world was paying silent tribute to Prof. Sid Watkins on the grid.
“The whole Formula One is there with great respect,” said commentator Christian Danner on RTL television. “Drivers, team managers, even the prime minister of Singapore.”
Danner said Schumacher’s absence was “embarrassing”.