Haas F1 team chastises new driver Mazepin for ‘abhorrent’ video of apparent harassment

Haas Mazepin sexual harassment
Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

Haas F1 Team condemned new driver Nikita Mazepin for a since-deleted video of apparent sexual harassment that was posted to his Instagram.

In the video, which briefly was posted Tuesday night to the story section of Mazepin’s social media account, a woman riding in the back seat of a car is groped in the chest area by someone reaching from the front passenger seat. The woman responds with an obscene gesture.

The team, which announced the hiring of Mazepin and F2 champion Mick Schumacher as its 2021 drivers last week, released a statement: “Haas F1 Team does not condone the behavior of Nikita Mazepin in the video recently posted on his social media. 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 apologized via social media Wednesday, saying “I would like to apologise for my recent actions both in terms of my own appropriate behaviour and the fact that it was posted onto social media. 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.”

Sky Sports reported that model Andrea D’lVal is the woman in the video and released an Instagram statement that she and Mazepin are “good friends”, and that she posted the video to Mazepin’s account as a “joke.”

The statement read: “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! 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, 21, has been racing in Formula 2, and Haas F1 team said the Russian had been signed to a mutliyear deal.

Mazepin, who also worked in a testing role for Force India from 2016-18 and Mercedes in 2019, is the son of Dmitry Mazepin, a Russian billionaire and principal shareholder of a chemicals company that has been linked to other F1 teams.