Nikita Mazepin: F1 driver apologises for ‘abhorrent’ behaviour after posting video of himself groping woman

Current F2 driver is due to drive for Haas next season but is facing calls to be replaced after posting a video of himself grabbing a woman’s breasts on his own Instagram story

Jack de Menezes
Sports News Correspondent
Wednesday 09 December 2020 10:59 GMT
Nikita Mazepin has apologised for a video he posted in which he groped a woman
Nikita Mazepin has apologised for a video he posted in which he groped a woman
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Haas F1 have labelled the actions of their driver Nikita Mazepin “abhorrent” after the 2021 Formula One star posted a video of himself groping a woman on his Instagram profile.

The 21-year-old Russian was announced as one of Haas’s two drivers for next season earlier this month, with the current Formula Two driver set to join Mick Schumacher with the American team to replace Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnusen.

But Mazepin is facing calls to be replaced after posting an Instagram story in which he is seen to grab a woman sitting in the back of the car they are travelling in by her breasts.

Haas quickly condemned his actions and said they will handle the matter internally.

A Haas statement read: “Haas F1 Team does not condone the behavior of Nikita Mazepin in the video recently posted on his social media. Additionally, the very fact that the video was posted on social media is also abhorrent to Haas F1 Team.

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“The matter is being dealt with internally and no further comment shall be made at this time.”

Mazepin issued an apology on his Twitter page and said that he must learn to hold himself “to a higher standard” due to being an F1 driver - a comment that drew anger given he should adopt those standards regardless of his profession.

“I would like to apologise for my recent actions both in terms of my own inappropriate behaviour and the fact that it was posted onto social media,” said Mazepin.

“I am sorry for the offense I have rightly caused and the embarrassment I have brought to Haas F1 Team. I have to hold myself to a higher standard as a Formula 1 driver and I acknowledge I have let myself and many people down. I promise I will learn from this.”

Mazepin also made headlines at the weekend as he received two penalties during the F2 feature race for dangerous driving, with Haas team principal Gunther Steiner joking that the team will “have our work cut out” with him on board for 2021.

Mazepin crossed the line in Saturday’s race on the podium in third, but he was demoted to ninth place after forcing both Yuki Tsunoda and Felipe Drugovich off the track as they attempted to overtake. Despite the result, Mazepin was able to secure fifth place in the F2 championship standings, which ensures he has enough points to gain an FIA Super Licence to compete in F1 next season.

“I’ve seen the F2 race, he got the penalty, but I think it is part of learning, for sure we have got our work cut out I guess,” Steiner said.

“We need to learn from this and see that these mistakes are not done. The good thing is he got the Super Licence, which is an achievement done, but these things happen, as I know, these things happen when your brain goes away.”

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