When is an apology not an apology?

…When it’s made by Michael Schumacher.

“Schumacher ‘sorry’ for blocking Barrichello in Hungary”

The headline read

Oh no he wasn’t, as was revealed by what he actually said:

“Michael Schumacher has said he is ‘sorry’ if Rubens Barrichello felt he had been put in danger by his blocking manoeuvre at the Hungarian Grand Prix.”

This roughly translates as Schumacher saying to Barrichello:

“Hey Rubens, I am sorry if for some unknown reason you have reached the strange conclusion that my sudden, late move to the right, pushing you within a few millimetres of hitting a concrete wall at over 150 miles an hour, and nearly leaving your wife without a husband and your two young sons without a father, was in any way dangerous.”

Michael, you are a leader in your sport – when you do something wrong, say sorry with sincerity, or just be quiet.

Action – when you do something wrong, say sorry with sincerity, or just be quiet.

What do you think? Share your thoughts here – And thank you for your response to last week’s Ban PowerPoint, we have had over 20 comments, split evenly – join that debate here

With my love and best wishes


  • Huck

    Does this happen because we gear up people to think too much about the task (winning and at any cost), at the expense of the 'how to behave' (if we do this we will achieve).

  • Elly

    People rarely apologise without a caveat these days – “I'm sorry but……” It's not an apology if you then justify the action. And it means nothing if you're only sorry that someone perceived your action to be wrong because it shows that you don't feel yourself to be accountable. If you muck up in business then you need to apologise (without a but) and explain what action will be taken to ensure it doesn't happen again – only then can you move forward with the business relationship whether it's with a colleague or a customer.

  • Deb

    totally agree! admitting you were in the wrong and apologising makes you of a stronger character than those who are that arrogant to admit they are wrong!

  • J Shaw

    It wasn't an apology. that man doesn't know how to apologise and, as you say, he certainly wasn't apologising for his own actions, just that Rubens was upset by it. The truth is Schumacher has sullied his reputation and time will reveal that his comeback to F1 was a big mistake. And something else, Germans rarely think they are wrong in my experience. Of course that is generalising and I can't speak for an entire nation. It's just that the three or four encounters I have had with them, they have been rather arrogant about things and not backed down in a similar way, when they have been proved to be not quite correct.

  • Mark Hammer

    MS hasn't been sorry in his life. Perhaps having that win at all costs mentality excludes him from human emotions. That is my belief. He is more of a robot than a human. He cares little for the safety of others. On the day Ayrton Senna lost his life, Schumacher won his seventh race and while there was no champagne spraying on the podium, he smiled and waved to the crowd. Sums up the man.

  • Chris

    Apologising and moving on. That's part of how society works. That has to be sincere though otherwise it means nothing.

  • I think this is very true – Capello did the same thing when he treated David Beckham with such disdain – its like he didn't even think to phone him DT

  • And apologising is one of the strongest things you can ever do as a leader DT

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