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Haas F1 condemn 'abhorrent' Nikita Mazepin actions, social media video

Nikita Mazepin posted a now-deleted video on Instagram on Tuesday night where he appears to inappropriately touch a woman's chest; Haas issue statement condemning his behaviour and say they will 'deal with matter internally'

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Sky Sports News reporter Craig Slater explains why Haas 2021 Formula 1 driver Nikita Mazepin has been forced to apologise

Haas have issued a strongly-worded statement condemning the "abhorrent" behaviour of their 2021 Formula 1 driver Nikita Mazepin in a video posted on social media.

Mazepin, who was confirmed as a new Haas driver last week, posted a short video on his Instagram stories on Tuesday night, in which he appears to reach from the passenger seat of a car and inappropriately touch a woman's chest on the back seat.

The woman reacts by moving her hand in reaction to being touched, before showing her middle finger to the camera and covering the lens.

The video was swiftly deleted but circulated elsewhere on social media, to widespread criticism.

Haas, who have an all-rookie line-up with Mazepin and Mick Schumacher next year, responded by issuing a statement criticising the Russian, 21, and confirming that they will deal with the matter internally.

"Haas F1 Team does not condone the behaviour of Nikita Mazepin in the video recently posted on his social media," the statement read, "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."

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Mazepin also apologised for his actions, and the sharing of them on social media.

"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," he said. "I am sorry for the offense 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 1 driver and I acknowledge I have let myself and many people down. I promise I will learn from this."

F1 and governing body the FIA released a joint statement on Thursday, adding: "We strongly support the Haas F1 Team in its response to the recent inappropriate actions of its driver, Nikita Mazepin.

"Mazepin has issued a public apology for his poor conduct and this matter will continue to be dealt with internally by the Haas F1 Team. The ethical principles and diverse and inclusive culture of our sport are of the utmost importance to the FIA and Formula 1."

The woman in the video, model Andrea D'lVal, posted her own story on Instagram, insisting that she and Mazepin are "good friends", the video was a "joke", and that she was the one who posted it on his story.

"Hi guys, I just want to let you know Nikita and I have been good friends for a long time and nothing from that video was serious at all!" she said.

Image: Nikita Mazepin finished fifth in the Formula 2 championship this year

"We trust each other so much and this was a silly way of joking between us. I posted this video on his story as an internal joke. I am truly sorry.

"I can give you my word he's really a good person and he would never do anything to hurt or humiliate me."

Mazepin finished fifth in the Formula 2 championship this season, 51 points behind the title-winner, and soon-to-be team-mate, Mick Schumacher.

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