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.”

IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
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The NTT IndyCar Series’ 2023 schedule will feature the same number of races and tracks as this season with some minor reshuffling of dates.

IndyCar will open the 2023 season March 5 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, and will conclude Sept. 10 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The 107th Indy 500 will take place May 28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 17-race schedule will conclude with a stretch of eight races in the final nine weeks.

“The NTT IndyCar Series is on an impactful upward trajectory, making progress at a pace that befits our thrilling style of competition,” Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “The 2023 season provides an opportunity to further build on this trend, bringing our sport and its stars to more markets and households and reaching new consumers across the globe.”

There will be 15 events on NBC: 13 races (including six of the final seven) plus Indy 500 qualifying May 20-21. There also are three races on USA Network and the Toronto race exclusively on Peacock. All races on NBC and USA also will have live simulstreams on Peacock.

In partnership with NBC Sports, the 2022 IndyCar season was the most-watched in six years and the most-watched across NBC Sports on record. The 2022 season also was the most streamed season on record.

“We’re very excited for our 2023 NTT IndyCar Series schedule and to build on this past season’s viewership milestones,” NBC Sports vice president of programming Mike Perman said in a release. “In providing comprehensive coverage across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, NBC Sports is once again looking forward to telling the stories of these world-class drivers and this compelling series.”

Notable elements on the 2023 schedule:

–There will be the same balance of seven road course races, five street courses and five ovals.

–St. Pete will be the season opener for the 13th time.

–The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will move from Belle Isle to the streets of downtown.

–The NASCAR doubleheader weekend at the IMS road course will shift to mid-August.

–The World Wide Technology Raceway event will move from Saturday to Sunday.

Start times for the 2023 events will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the 2023 IndyCar schedule:

Date Race/Track Network/Platform
Sun., March 5 Streets of St. Petersburg NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 2 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 16 Streets of Long Beach NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 30 Barber Motorsports Park NBC, Peacock
Sat., May 13 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) NBC, Peacock
Sun., May 28 The 107th Indianapolis 500 NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 4 Streets of Detroit NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 18 Road America USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 16 Streets of Toronto Peacock
Sat., July 22 Iowa Speedway – Race 1 NBC, Peacock
Sun., July 23 Iowa Speedway – Race 2 NBC, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 6 Streets of Nashville NBC, Peacock
Sat., Aug. 12 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) USA Network, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 27 World Wide Technology Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 3 Portland International Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 10 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca NBC, Peacock

*dates and networks/platforms are subject to change