I beg to differ, BRK. As Buttoneer correctly pointed out, this is Christian/European tradition to pay respect. I do however agree with you (being in attendance myself in the past to a such event), that in cumulative noise at such gatherings sometimes timing is off, and people miss the moment.
I have seen Schumacher taking his cap off several times in the past to pay respect, which is why I believe what ivan said, that after RTL interview that took prior the minute silence, he was probably rushed to make a picture, was one of the last to arrive, and before he realized what is going on there was a photo shot done. This is very plausible explanation.
I was trying to search internet about this subject, but this is the only place I came accross, which is making a deal out of it. So, at the conclusion I do not know what happened exactly, but watching a man for years, my bet is on misunderstanding, and not worth further discussion.
What I meant is that the same happens everywhere in the world, including say India, Arabia, SE Asia, etc. I've seen people standing up with bowed heads and caps off to mark a minute's silence at many of these countries for different reasons (such as after a terrorist attack, natural disaster, etc) Regardless of religious beliefs or cultural background people do remove their caps sometimes as a mark of respect, it's not limited to Europe. So viewed from that perspective I would say that on Sunday a lot of people simply chose not to take their hats off, not at all out of ignorance or cultural background but because of personal preference. (and I was one of them) So long as you're sincere with your mourning (I can tell you that there was pin-drop silence at the circuit and not a single soul stirred) I don't think it matters whether you take your hat or sunglasses off.
Agreed with the rest! The pics clearly prove Michael was in a hurry.
To get away from a senseless invented drama:
Schumi was always on the track a genius with moments of madness. However one of the greatest reactions I have seen in recent F1 was the way in which he went into the garage in that dark day in Suzuka 2006 when a blown engine meant his dream of another title were shredded with no fault of his own. You really could feel behind the TV screen that mental strenght, that head held high, his complete leadership when he stepped in and raised the spirits, congratulating his mechanics with a friendly smile on his face.
In Brazil he then went to give it all and after suffering that flat tyre he just went in, out and went off once again to give it all he it. All that had something strangely heroic and touching, a challenge against all the odds and loyality to himself and the team to the last inch of the track of the last lap.