Formula 1: Concerning Nikita Mazepin development emerges

Nikita Mazepin, Haas, Formula 1 (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Nikita Mazepin, Haas, Formula 1 (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) /

A somewhat concerning development has emerged regarding the recent Instagram video posted by 2021 Haas Formula 1 driver Nikita Mazepin.

A few weeks ago, a video featuring 2021 Haas Formula 1 driver Nikita Mazepin reaching for a woman’s shirt and grabbing her breast was posted on his Instagram story. In the video, the woman, who was under the influence at the time, resisted his action and flipped off the camera.

After the video went viral, Mazepin issued an apology, which he has since deleted from Twitter.

Here’s what he had to say.

"“I would like to apologise for my recent actions both in terms of my own inappropriate behaviour and the fact that it was posted on 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.”"

But interestingly, the woman, Andrea D’lVal, issued a statement of her own and noted that what had happened between the two was not a big deal.

"“Hey everyone, I just want to let you know that Nikita and I have been good friends for a long time and there was nothing serious about the video. 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.”"

Following an internal investigation, Haas decided not to fired Mazepin, as most fans expected. The 21-year-old comes to the team financially backed by his father Dmitry, the founder and majority shareholder in Russian chemical company Uralchem.

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The sport’s lone American team are in dire need of additional funding, which is something they admitted when they hired Mazepin despite the fact that he has quite a checkered past to begin with as well as the fact that there were other and perhaps better options out there from a competition standpoint.

While many are justifiably upset with this decision, given the fact that sexual objectification was on clear display for the world to see, whether the woman later said she was okay with it or not, many decided to move on, given the fact that she did say afterward that she was okay with it.

I get the logic. I get being upset over it, and I also get not wanting to hear more about it.

But in the midst of a situation that has already seen its fair share of interesting turns, D’lVal recently posted two Instagram stories of her own that have many fans wondering whether or not she is referencing what happened in the video with Mazepin.

Regarding her “advice to her younger self”, she notes that hers would be “don’t let anyone touch you or disrespect you again” and “don’t drink with assholes”.

Of course, they may not be related whatsoever. But is it merely a coincidence that they sound a lot like what happened with the Haas driver a few weeks ago?

These messages will undoubtedly only further the claims of some fans that her defense of Mazepin was influenced by a payout from a third party (aka Dmitry).

Interestingly, Mazepin does not follow D’lVal on Instagram, and she also does not follow him.

“Close friends”?

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While Haas seem to have handled everything internally, as team principal Guenther Steiner noted they would (effectively ruling out a firing from the start), it remains to be seen whether or not the FIA, which backed Haas’ initial statement about the matter in a joint statement with Formula 1, will take any action against their perennial problem child.