The American Formula One team Haas have said they do not condone the behaviour of Nikita Mazepin following an “abhorrent” video posted to his Instagram account.
The 21-year-old Russian, who will race for Haas next season, appeared to inappropriately touch a woman in the back seat of a car. The woman seemed to reject his action, raising her middle finger. Mazepin later removed the video.
“Haas F1 Team does not condone the behaviour of Nikita Mazepin in the video recently posted on his social media,” the F1 team said in a statement. “Additionally, the very fact that the video was posted on social media is also abhorrent to Haas F1 Team. The matter is being dealt with internally and no further comment shall be made at this time.”
Mazepin also issued a statement expressing his regret. He said: “I would like to apologise for my recent actions, both in terms of my own inappropriate behaviour, and the fact that it was posted on to social media.
“I am sorry for the offence I have rightly caused and to the embarrassment I have brought to Haas F1 Team. I have to hold myself to a higher standard as a Formula One driver and I acknowledge I have let myself and many people down. I promise I will learn from this.”
Mazepin’s father, the billionaire businessman Dmitry Mazepin, is ploughing money into the Haas team. Nikita Mazepin was only announced as an F1 driver for 2021 last week and will race alongside Mick Schumacher – the Formula Two champion and the son of the seven times F1 world champion Michael.