Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Formula 1 has released its own statement regarding Nikita Mazepin’s conduct, backing the stance Haas have taken on the issue. Haas came forward with a statement on Wednesday, saying that the team condemned the ‘abhorrent’ video shared by Nikita Mazepin on Instagram that showed a woman being touched by the camera operator in the video. Seeming to be uncomfortable with the touch, the woman shakes the camera operator’s hands away.
The woman in the video released her own statement afterwards, saying that she is ‘good friends’ with Mazepin, who steps up to Formula 1 with Haas in 2021. She said that the incident was all in good spirits, and an ‘internal joke’ between friends.
Haas released a statement addressing the situation after the video blew up on social media, saying that they didn’t condone the actions of Nikita Mazepin in sharing the video. Mazepin himself held his hands up, saying he needed to ‘hold himself to a higher standard as a Formula 1 driver’ and apologised for the offence he may have caused.
Formula 1 & the FIA have now issued a statement to clarify their position on the matter, saying “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.”
Formula 1 cannot weigh in on the private contract dealings in place between a team and their driver, and cannot force a punishment in this regard. However, if they really wanted to push the issue, the FIA could invoke a punishment under Appendix B of the International Sporting Code. This covers the FIA’s code of conduct, which includes instructions to all personnel falling under their jurisdiction “not to cause, by words, actions or writings, damage to the standing and/or reputation of, or loss to, the FIA, its bodies, its members or its management, and more generally on the interests of motor sport and on the values defended by the FIA.”