Sky Italia has suspended Matteo Bobbi and Davide Valsecchi, as the commentators made sexist remarks during the Spanish Grand Prix while they were live on TV. The comments were made during an analysis following Max Verstappen's victory in the race. The pair has since offered their apologies.
The former drivers made sexist remarks about a woman walking behind them in the paddock. Bobbi referred to her as an "upgrade package," likely alluding to the updates Formula 1 cars receive throughout the season. He invited Valsecchi to turn around, who then examined the woman's backside and said, "I know, but unfortunately, I can't test them."
Journalist Federica Masolin, who was standing next to Valsecchi, was visibly uncomfortable with the comments, while a journalist from the studio urged caution to the duo. Masolin even said, "Can we please watch some interviews instead of listening to these two? Let's hear from Carlos Sainz. I'm going to censor the two of you."
The commentators have since apologized for the remarks they made. Valsecchi wrote on Instagram: "I apologize for the jokes I made on Sunday, after the race, which were not well received and contained inappropriate and disrespectful words. That is not normally who I am. I would like to apologize to anyone who feels offended, to all women and to Sky."
Bobbi stated, "I offer my sincere apologies to anyone who felt offended, and I would like to emphasize that I have a great deal of respect for everyone, especially women. I have been commentating with my friends at Sky for ten years, and they have become like family. And in ten years, I have never put myself in such an unpleasant situation. I have always believed that you should learn from your mistakes, understand them and then start anew. I will take what happened to further develop myself, both as a man and on a professional level."
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