Haas F1, Guenther Steiner continue support for Nikita Mazepin

Steiner Mazepin Haas F1
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Embroiled in controversy created by an Instagram video post on the page of their new driver Nikita Mazepin, race principal Guenther Steiner addressed the steps taken by the team in a editorial at The-Race.com.

The video posted early December depicted what appeared to be sexual harassment and was removed from his Instagram page. It showed a woman riding in the back seat of a car being groped in the chest area by someone reaching from the front passenger seat.

The woman was identified as model Andrea D’lVal, and she released a statement that 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.”

But one month later, criticism continues to swirl. And it is a distraction the team would prefer not to have as they attempt to move up a highly competitive grid. In 2020 Haas F1 finished ninth among 10 constructors, earning just three points for the season. Only Williams F1 was worse.

“[Nikita] did something he shouldn’t have done, and we were very outspoken about what we thought about it at the time. He’s apologized and he knows it was wrong, and now we need to work on it to give him the best opportunity to learn from this, concentrate on his racing and ensure he doesn’t do it anymore.”

Soon after reports of the video circulated, Haas Formula 1 condemned the action as abhorrent, but did not go as far as removing the driver.

Their opinion has not changed. In his editorial, Steiner stated that young drivers need support and guidance in order to mature not only as racers, but as adults.

Steiner says the team is taking internal measures to ensure the behavior they characterize as a mistake is not repeated, while refusing to disclose precisely what those measures are. He and the team is also aware of the response on social media and that is taken seriously.

“This is not done and dusted, this is an ongoing thing, we are not moving on like nothing ever happened,” he said.

At the time of his signing with Haas Formula 1, Mazepin was third in the Formula 2 standings behind his new teammate Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott.

“I’m delighted that Nikita Mazepin will be driving for Haas F1 Team next season,” Steiner said. “Nikita has underlined his credentials in Formula 2 this year with a brace of victories and a handful of podiums in what’s been a strong sophomore season for him.

“I’m excited to see what Nikita can achieve in Formula 1 and we look forward to giving him the opportunity to compete at the highest level of world motorsport.”

Notably, Steiner also commented on the need to help fellow freshman Schumacher improve, but the focus of his statement was on Schumacher’s racing knowledge instead of personal issues.

“The guys like him and his feedback and he has no problem to admit the things where he needs to get better,” Steiner said at The-Race.com. “That is what we need to do – make him go better – because everything is new; he’s been put in a difficult position because his teammate is another rookie, but he knew that from the get go.”

Eli Tomac wins Houston Supercross: Hunter Lawrence takes early 250 East lead

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With his 47th career victory and third of the 2023 season in Houston, Eli Tomac closed to within one win of tying Ricky Carmichael for third on the all-time Monster Energy Supercross list.

Tomac rebounded from last week’s crash by earning the holeshot in both his heat and the Main. At the start of the big show, he couldn’t shake Aaron Plessinger in the first four minutes and actually was in the process of losing the lead as a red flag waved for a crash involving Tomac’s teammate Dylan Ferrandis when he overjumped an obstacle and landed on Ken Roczen’s back fender as they raced for eighth.

“That was a tough race,” Tomac told NBC Sports’ Will Christien, referencing his loss to Chase Sexton in the heat. “And honestly, I was just beat down after that heat race and was searching quite a bit and was basically losing speed everywhere. I just rode better, straight up in the Main. I felt better.”

In their heat, Sexton passed Tomac at the two-minute mark and then simply rode away from the field. At the end, he had an almost eight-second gap on Tomac.

“It wasn’t great by any means,” Sexton told Jason Thomas. “I feel like the strengths I had all day, I really lagged in the Main event between the whoop and the sand section. I think I could have walked through it faster. It was still a good ride; it wasn’t great. I expected after the heat race he would be fired up.”

RESULTS: How they finished for the 450 Main in Anaheim 2

Jason Anderson scored his second consecutive pole, but he was not happy to finish third behind the two points’ leaders.

“We should be thankful every time we get to be up here,” Anderson said. “They’re making it tough on me, but all I can do is give my best.”

Tomac had to withstand a red flag and the distant second place finish in his heat to win the Houston Supercross race. In the post-race conference, he indicated that he did not make any changes to the bike and simply rode better.

Aaron Plessinger and Cooper Webb rounded out the top five.

Ferrandis was fitted with a neck brace, but still able to walk to the medical cart. He was still being evaluated by the medical staff as the night came to a close.


In 250s Hunter Lawrence entered the 250 East opener as the consensus favorite to win the championship this year with Christian Craig making the move into 450s and his brother Jett Lawrence in the West division. He answered quickly with a huge lead in Heat 1, but it almost went awry in the Main.

Lawrence got a good start, but he was passed early in the race by two-time MXGP champion (2020, 2022) Tom Vialle, who was making his Supercross debut this week. Vialle passed Lawrence on the first lap. When Lawrence tried to pass him back, Vialle scrubbed speed off a jump and pushed Lawrence wide, over the Tuff Blox.

Championships are made out of Lawrence’s response. He kept his composure and did not overcorrect before methodically working his way to the front.

“We had a little off track excursion. I wasn’t sure how hard across Tom was coming so I thought I’ll just go left, but then saw that was the side of the track. Thankfully I didn’t hit the Tuff Blox and got back on track safely. … Good start; put myself in position.”

Click here for full 250 East Main Results

Making a move from the 450 class to 250s, Max Anstie had immediate success. He finished second in his heat behind Jordon Smith and lined up with a great gate pick. He had to overtake Vialle in the opening laps and lost ground on Lawrence, that cost enough time to keep him from pressing Lawrence. This is Anstie’s first podium in the United States

“Honestly, I’ve dreamed of this for a long time to come up on these steps and man it’s a great feeling. I’ve really enjoyed the day and being on this 250, I feel like an 18-year-old kid. Everyday I’m learning.”

Smith backed up his heat win with a podium finish.

“It feels good to be back up here again,” Smith said. “It’s been a long time; a lot of injuries.”

Haiden Deegan proved the hype surrounding his debut in the 250 class was not unfounded. He finished fourth in his heat to advance to directly into the Main. During the early laps, he was circling the track in a podium position until a minor mistake sent him off the box. In the closing laps, he narrowly made an aggressive pass on Jeremy Martin and narrowly missed the podium with a fourth-place finish.

Martin held on to round out the top five.

Vialle was running in a podium position when went down with a 1:30 left on the clock. He ended his night seventh.

Chance Hymas was also making his 250 debut and scored a top-10 in eighth.

2023 Race Recaps

Anaheim 2: Triple Crown produces new winners Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen
San Diego: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Tomac wins opener for the first time

Houston coverage

Houston by the numbers
Supercross unveils 16th edition of a Ricky Carmichael designed Daytona track
Power Rankings after week 3
Malcom Stewart out for “extended duration” after knee surgery
Haiden Deegan makes Supercross debut in Houston, Justin Cooper to 450s
Talon Hawkins set to relieve injured Jalek Swoll in Houston
Jalek Swoll out for an indefinite period with broken arm
Ken Roczen urgently needed a change
Chris Blose joins Pro Circuit Kawasaki in 250 East opener
Seth Hammaker to miss Houston with wrist injury
Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list