Publisher apologises and sacks editor over ‘tasteless’ Schumacher AI ‘interview’

RaceFans Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: The editor-in-chief of German magazine Die Aktuelle has been sacked after the publication ran an ‘interview’ with Michael Schumacher generated by an online AI chatbot.

In brief

Editor sacked for “tasteless” Schumacher article

German publishing company Funke Mediengruppe has apologised to the Schumacher family after one of its magazines published a fake interview with seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher which had been generated using an AI chatbot.

A representative of the Schumacher family confirmed to RaceFans that they planned to pursue legal action after the ‘interview’ was published in Die Aktuelle magazine. Schumacher suffered brain injuries in a skiing accident in 2013 and has not appeared publicly since. Funke managing director Bianca Pohlmann said the publisher offered its apologies to the family for running the article.

“This tasteless and misleading article should never have been published,” Pohlmann said. “It does not meet the standards of journalism that we – and our readers – expect from a publisher like Funke.”

Funke also confirmed that Die Aktuelle editor-in-chief Anne Hoffmann, who had edited the magazine since 2009, had been removed from her position as a consequence.

Mazepin takes Canadian government to court over sanctions

Former Haas driver Nikita Mazepin is suing the the Canadian government in a federal court over sanctions placed on him last year in a bid to help revive his F1 career.

The Canadian Press reports that Mazepin, who is Russian and was dropped by Haas following the Russian military invasion of Ukraine in 2022, is taking the Canadian government to federal court to remove him from the nation’s sanctions list. Mazepin’s father, Dmitry, was also sanctioned as head of the petrochemical company Uralkali, who were also dropped as Haas sponsors.

Court submissions reportedly claim that Mazepin considers his case urgent as “it will be extremely difficult — if not impossible — for him to be recruited again as an F1 driver or as a driver in other motorsport championships” if the sanctions are not dropped.

Mazepin competed in February’s Asian Le Mans series with 99 Racing in the LMP2 class.

Formula E delays Attack Charge pit stops to 2024

Formula E will delay its plans to introduce pit stops to ‘recharge’ cars during races later this season, the series’ leadership has confirmed.

The regulations for the 2023 season – the first with Formula E’s Gen3 car – included plans to introduce a mandatory 30 second pit stop to charge car batteries during races at select rounds later in the season, after which drivers would receive two periods of increased power output. However, Formula E has decided not to introduce the system in 2023 and instead postpone its implementation to next season.

The second Formula E race of the weekend at Berlin will take place later today. Mitch Evans took victory in yesterday’s race, ahead of Jaguar team mate Sam Bird.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Comment of the day

Does F1 need tyres with high wear to produce good racing? No, believes @dbradock…

I’ve said for a while that the problem with the current tyres isn’t the wear, it’s that their delta isn’t big enough.

If they produced three sets with a substantial delta (and corresponding wear), it might just get teams to take more chances instead of every single team adopting the same approach race after race.

If it became more a matter of two or three stops on softs being able to compete with (say) a single stop on medium/hard combos we’d likely see some teams roll the dice more often and we’d see again faster cars cutting through a field more often.

Currently there’s just no chance of that happening because the tyres simply don’t have a big enough differential for long enough.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Wonderduck, Hydro, Rylan Ziegler, Kadir Issa and Benh!

On this day in motorsport

  • 20 years ago today Mick Doohan and Tommy Makinen tested a Williams Formula 1 car at Silverstone

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

28 comments on “Publisher apologises and sacks editor over ‘tasteless’ Schumacher AI ‘interview’”

  1. Former Haas driver Nikita Mazepin is suing the the Canadian government in a federal court over sanctions placed on him last year in a bid to help revive his F1 career

    He had a career?

    1. Absolutely. He careered into the barriers, he careered into the gravel, he careered into any driver who got too close.

      1. + something 👍🤣😂😂😂

      2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        23rd April 2023, 9:07

        I don’t get why so many remember him for crashing so much. His main problem by far was just lack of speed and being uncomfortable with the car. Schumacher and many other drivers crashed a lot more than mazepin and also cost the teams a lot more in repair bills. Crashing just wasn’t Mazipins obvious weakness.

        1. Why? He spinned multiple times a day during testing, at least once every session afterwards before spinning out of the race at literally the first corner he encountered in the race… and that was just the first race of the season. Seems like a good reason to remember him as someone with zero car control.

          1. Yes, I remember a quip someone made which I liked a lot that they should’ve paid mazepin per lap, since initially he tended to not even complete a lap!

          2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            23rd April 2023, 22:36

            He had a lot of minor crashes, but more often in practice than the races. My point being that Scumacher crashed more than him and caused much more damage. All this said, Schumacher was still far better – but in terms of crashing, i would say there are many drivers on the grid in the past few years that have crashed as much or more and caused more damage than Mazepin did.

        2. Coventry Climax
          23rd April 2023, 13:03

          Remember this famous british ski-jump athlete named ‘Eddie the Eagle’?
          There’s no jumper that’s serious about his sports and compares his achievements to Eddie.
          Equally, comparing a driver’s achievements against those of Mick is pointless.

        3. @thegianthogweed Because Mazepin was already on the Bad List before he even got started. Largely thanks to himself, mind you – but it’s worth keeping in mind that he did earn enough superlicense points to race in F1. Unlike some other drivers that are, apparently, generational talents. And if Mazepin had been partnered with anyone other than media-darling Mick Schumacher, he might have been able to turn that around.

          But a combination of some questionable personal choices, a disreputable source of funding, a hilariously bad first race weekend, and a teammate that could do no wrong in the tone-setters in the paddock, and the only way out for him would have been to basically do an ‘Alonso in a Minardi’ season, and that was never going to happen because… well, he’s no Alonso.

          1. Don’t agree in this case, he was completely outclassed by schumacher, and I mean, hulkenberg for now is doing better than schumacher was, that’s not impressive by mazepin; if he had been faster than schumacher people would’ve noticed it but he wasn’t, he was so slow he shouldn’t have been in f1.

  2. Final preparations are beginning at the Miami International Autodrome

    Filling the “marina” is in full swing :)

  3. Mazepin is such a waste of space. Surely, now the Canadian government will drop everything to right an egregious wrong of unprecedented urgency. Friggin entitled little poop.

  4. For all the Arrested Development fans, looks like Funke just blued themselves.

  5. Mazepin won’t be recruited again as an F1 driver because not only do most teams have clear driver plans for the medium or longer term, but they don’t want him either.
    Therefore, court action against the Canadian government is pretty pointless, not that they could do anything concerning an international racing series anyway.

    Ricciardo ultimately made the right decision, but I doubt he’d make a full-time return next season, given he said quite recently that he’d only return in a top team, & even the lower ones are effectively non-options, considering their driver plans as referenced above, not to mention one of them has Seidl.

    I agree with the COTD.

    1. Ricciardo ultimately made the right decision

      I disagree. Daniel should have taken a pay cut and driven for a team such as Haas or Williams or whoever. If he’d taken any seat then he’d be showing he is still one of the best drivers (or not) on the grid, he’d be keeping up with the technological developments in the cars, and he’d be contributing to the development of next year’s car. Instead he isn’t in an F1 car, his name isn’t seen on the timing boards at every Grand prix, his opinions are based upon F1 experience and technology that’s 6 months old, he’s getting older, and basically there’s no need to update his CV after every race.

      1. I’m not sure if that would’ve been better tbh: you start with a backmarker team, do well, get promoted to a top team; if you leave a top team and go to a midfield team, it’ll be harder to impress and return to a top team, and ricciardo didn’t want to continue in f1 just to drive.

  6. In reference to the COTD, in a simulation such compounds might exist, but the ever increasing frequency of neutralisations will make every team hesitant about a ‘no stop tyre’. The chances of their competitors getting some or even all of their pitstop time back is likely to be too great.

    The less said about Russian drivers the better. Let’s not forget why Russia is in this position, or rather, has put itself in it.

    1. couldntstopmyself
      23rd April 2023, 10:09

      I don’t see the ‘delta’ as the problem, but rather the time lost during a pit stop. If a pit stop would only cost the time of stopping and changing wheels it would be much more interesting to include them in the race strategy.
      It’s not impossible to achieve this by cutting a few corners when entering/exiting the pit (of course a drive through penalty would become meaningless).

      Mazepin shouldn’t burden the Canadian legal system, but become focal in his own country against the illegal invasion of their neighbours. If he starts, more might follow, Russia/Putin will again respect the borders, and Mazapin can race again. Simples!

      1. It’s impossible to cut corners during pit stops at most circuits.

        Altough they could indeed make time spent in the pits as low as possible. But it’s been the case for 15+ years so probably nothing will change in this regard. It’s like they do not realize that a shorter pitlane increases the chances of more tyre changes. The best exmple is Paul Ricard.

        Drive-through penalties are a dying breed, unfortunately. The go with time penalties instead. And those are awful.

        1. @f1mre out of curiosity, I wonder when the last drive through was? I can’t think of a recent one at all (though I’m sure someone will remember one from 2019 or something).

          I kind of assumed it was no longer in the rule book. To be fair, 5 seconds stop and go is probably the equivalent of a drive thru at Silverstone with how long that pit lane is.

          1. At Paul Ricard sorry

          2. @bernasaurus There was a post-race one to Gasly in 2022 Japan (so effectively a 20 second time penalty), and I don’t think there were any in 2021 and 2020, but in 2019 Kvyat got one at the Chinese GP, as did Räikkönen at the Russian GP.

          3. Thank you. You have much better memory than me!

  7. “Tommi” Mäkinen surely?

  8. @mrfabulous What does he have to do with any matter in this round-up?

    1. @jerejj See the ‘On This Day In Motorsport’ spot

      1. @mrfabulous I didn’t pay enough attention at the time.

  9. Anyone have any idea what the “interview” was about

Comments are closed.