By Sam Webb
Published: 06:47 EDT, 4 February 2014 | Updated: 09:57 EDT, 4 February 2014
Sick: German satire magazine Titanic has printed a picture of Austrian Formula One Legend Niki Lauda, joking that it’s the latest picture of comatose Michael Schumacher
A German satire magazine has been condemned after printing a picture of badly-scarred Austrian Formula One Legend Niki Lauda with the title: ‘Exclusive – First Photo After The Accident – This is how badly it affected Schumi’.
‘Titanic’ jokes that Michael Schumacher, who is in a coma after a skiing accident, now looks like Lauda – the Austrian former champion who was seriously injured in a crash at the 1976 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.
During the crash, his Ferrari burst into flames and he came close to death after inhaling hot toxic fumes and suffering severe burns leaving him with extensive facial scars.
Lauda said of the Titanic cover: ‘It is an absolute barefaced cheek and is completely impious. I ask myself, “who would print such a load of rubbish”?’
The article then goes on to explain to parents how they can explain Schumacher’s accident with ‘Fun and Games’, such as a puzzle of seriously injured Schumacher in a helmet and a maze where taking the wrong route down the mountain puts the reader in ‘hospital’.
It is not the first time the magazine has been criticised for tasteless jokes. A double page spread once suggested missing girl Maddie McCann’s parents sell her pics for advertising products, like a bleach brand that was ‘guaranteed to wipe away DNA evidence’.
Lauda said he is considering legal steps but he may not get far. When told that Maddie’s parents were planning legal action over the use of their daughter’s image, Titanic welcomed the move, saying it would give the publication great publicity – and help to raise sales.
The ad features numerous products with Maddie’s face on them, each offered at half price.
German Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher poses with his wife Corinna. In December he suffered serious head injuries while skiing in Meribel, France. He remains in a coma
A view over slopes and rocks where German Formula One legend Michael Schumacher reportedly had his ski accident at Saulire mountain near Meribel in the French Alps
An ad for a children’s chocolate bar promises that one per cent of all sales will be donated to Interpol, the international police cooperation organisation.
‘Here comes Maddie. She is the best known face in the world, if not in the entire universe,’ the fake ad claimed.
‘You will find her image on selected products in our store. If you find her, simply take her – and pay only half price.’
Maddie’s image was also emblazoned on a package of crackers in the ad and a bottle of Maggi soup flavouring has been turned into Maddie flavouring.
Before the accident: Niki Lauda and James Hunt, who were famous for their intense rivalry on the grid
Aftermath: Niki Lauda talks to rival James Hunt after his accident
Thomas Gsella, editor in chief of Titanic, said anyone famous was fair game for spoofs and added: ‘The reaction of the British media is hypocritical. They’re just upset because the idea was taken out from under their noses.’
The magazine – also infamously did a spoof airport-style bodyscan of the Duchess of Cornwall that revealed her to be a horse, under the headline ‘Bad News for Camilla’.
Titanic has had 35 editions banned since it was founded in 1979.
The burning Ferrari of Austrian Formula 1 world champion Niki Lauda after an accident in 1976 at Nurburgring. He escaped death at the last second after he was pulled out by other drivers
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