Schumacher: Todt comments misquoted


Comments attributed to Jean Todt suggesting that Michael Schumacher will be able to live a "relatively normal life" are not correct.

Since Michael Schumacher's accident in December, the only reliable source of accurate information, even if somewhat thin on the ground, has been Sabine Kehm, the German's official spokesperson.

Consequently, when comments from his former (Ferrari) team boss Jean Todt began emerging yesterday, we thought it prudent to check with her.

Though not wanting to make a comment on the record she told Pitpass that the words attributed to Mr Todt were not what he said.

Sure enough, it would appear that comments he made in an interview with France's RTL were either misquoted or poorly translated.

First the 'misquotes' appeared in Germany before being picked up by the International media.

In Germany, Spiegel proclaimed 'Friend Todt announces "normal life" for Schumacher', while Focus reported 'Schumacher will "live a normal life"' and NTV, 'Schumacher "he will lead a relatively normal life"'.

Elsewhere, Britain's Daily Mail reported 'Michael Schumacher 'will be able to live relatively normal life' ex Ferrari boss says', while the Mirror declared 'F1 hero Michael Schumacher can lead 'relatively normal life' soon, says former boss Todt', even the Daily Telegraph, Times and Guardian echoed the original misquote.

Today however, the Guardian has amended its article, admitting: "This article was amended on 8 October 2014. The headline and text originally said that Jean Todt believed Michael Schumacher could lead a "relatively normal life again". In fact, Todt said that he "hoped" that Schumacher would make a recovery. Similar corrections, blaming mistranslation by a news agency, have now appeared elsewhere.

Indeed, asked how Schumacher is (today), Todt told RTL: "Today? He is fighting. And we hope that things will get better.

"During the past weeks and months he has made progress with the severity of his injury," he added, "but has a long and hard road ahead of him."

Asked, if the German can control his movements and if he can talk, the Frenchman said: "I will not go into detail because it is too personal. I think the important thing is that he lives, that his family is with him and that it is better, but we must give him time. We must leave him alone."


Whilst in no way wanting to dash people's hopes, it was vital that we double-check with Michael's spokesperson who remains the only accurate source of official information on the German legend's progress.

Whilst, as is the case with Jules Bianchi, we want to hear good news, it has be fact-based and entirely correct.

Chris Balfe

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 08/10/2014
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