Recruited by the Haas team for the 2021 season, Nikita Mazepin is in the eye of the storm after the publication of a sulphurous video on social networks.
The little Porsche trip with friends could cost him dearly even if Haas, his new team, really needs the dollars of his billionaire dad. In a story published on his Instagram account Tuesday evening, Nikita Mazepin wanted to share the festive atmosphere that reigned aboard the racing car spinning to the rhythm of techno. But the young Russian pilot (21 years old) also immortalized inappropriate behavior on his part against one of the passengers.
The new Haas recruit for the 2021 season may have quickly removed the video from his account, his gesture where we see him grab the young woman’s breast with his hand, has been around social networks since Wednesday morning. And creates indignation. A #MazepinOut hashtag (Mazepin outside F1) is heavily relayed on Twitter and a petition demanding the exclusion of the person concerned for the 2021 season had collected more than 8,500 signatures in ten hours.
“Hateful video” for Haas
Faced with this outcry, the Haas team reacted in a press release. “Haas F1 Team does not tolerate the behavior of Nikita Mazepin in the video recently posted on his social media. In addition, the video posted on social media is also obnoxious to the Haas F1 Team. The question is being dealt with internally and no other comment will be made for the moment, ”said the American team which had formalized the recruitment of Nikita Mazepin last week. Competitors in Formula 2 this season, the young Russian (5th in the championship) and Mick Schumacher (1st) will replace Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen whose contracts have not been renewed. Mazepin’s arrival in Formula 1 was made easier for him by the cash contribution of his father, billionaire Dmitry Mazepin, to Haas, a team in search of liquidity.
“I am sorry for the harm I have done and the embarrassment caused to the Haas F1 team”
Aware that his gesture could have serious consequences on the rest of his career, Nikita Mazepin engaged in an act of contrition on the networks: “I would like to apologize for my recent actions, both my own inappropriate behavior and its publication on social networks. I am sorry for the harm I have rightly done and the embarrassment caused to the Haas F1 team. I have to behave a lot better as a Formula 1 driver and I admit that I have caused harm to myself and to a lot of people. I promise that I will learn from it ”.
“Nikita would never do anything to hurt or humiliate me”
The young woman in the video, Andrea D’lval, defended her friend by explaining that this gesture was “a joke”. “I just want you to know that Nikita and I have been good friends for a long time and that nothing in this video was serious (…) We trust each other so much, it was a silly way to joke between us. I posted this video on his story as a joke between us. I am really sorry. He’s a really good person and he would never do anything to hurt or humiliate me, ”the model wrote. Whether that will be enough to calm the storm remains to be seen.