Formula One world erupts at ‘disgrace’
The Haas Formula One team confirmed on Wednesday that Russian driver Nikita Mazepin would drive for them next season after concluding an internal investigation into his recent conduct in an online video.
Mazepin signed a "multi-year" deal with Haas at the start of December after a successful season in Formula Two.
He will line up alongside Mick Schumacher, the son of the seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, in an all-rookie partnership.
Shortly after the announcement, a video surfaced on the Russian's Instagram account of him making a seemingly unsolicited attempt to touch a woman's breast.
Haas were quick to condemn the 23-second video clip, shot by a front-seat passenger in a moving car with Mazepin and the woman in the back seat and opened an internal inquiry which they now say has ended.
"Haas F1 Team would like to reaffirm that Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher will form its driver line-up for the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship," the team statement read.
"As per the team's previous statement regarding the actions of Nikita Mazepin (9 December) - this matter has now been dealt with internally and no further comment shall be made."
The 21-year-old son of billionaire Dmitry Mazepin apologised for his "inappropriate" behaviour.
"I admit that I failed in my duties to myself and to a lot of people. I promise to learn from this," he said.
But his survival has been met with more anger from the F1 community.
WTF1 presenter Matt Gallagher tweeted: "I've never been so disappointed in the sport I truly love. What a f***ing disgrace."
I must admit I am also stunned at the lack of action or proper statement from @F1 and the @FIA.— Chris Medland (@ChrisMedlandF1) December 23, 2020
Mazepin is bringing their sport into disrepute and all they've said so far is: 'That's a problem for Haas, not us'. #F1
Also the last few years have shown @HaasF1Team will run blindly towards money with little regard to ... much of anything else. Values, reputation and just general organisational competence has been a disaster— Chain Bear (@chainbear) December 23, 2020
Originally published as Formula One world erupts at 'disgrace'
I think what's most ugh about this is it's not like this is new; groping and exploitation of, particularly young, women has been a paddock staple for ages and the FIA have always looked away. But what's optimistic is that people *are* rightly angry, now and this could change.— Hazel Southwell (@HSouthwellFE) December 23, 2020