The Haas Formula 1 team will not fire Nikita Mazpin despite his actions in a recent video and have reaffirmed that he will complete its driver line-up in 2021.
Just one week after Haas announced that Mazepin would be making his F1 debut with the team next year, the Formula 2 graduate was shrouded in controversy after a video was uploaded to his Instagram account in which he was shown groping a woman in the back of his car.
Haas reacted with an immediate statement condemning Mazepin’s “abhorrent” behaviour and said it would be taking the matter seriously as it dealt with it privately.
The American outfit has since released a statement confirming that no changes will be made to its driver line-up for next season and that Mazepin will drive alongside F2 champion Mick Schumacher as planned.
Social media users had pointed out a change to both Mazepin and Haas F1 reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi’s account bios amid suggestions that the Russian could be replaced by the driver who stood in for the injured Romain Grosjean at the final two rounds of the season.
But in a statement released on Wednesday, Haas has dismissed such speculation, insisting that the matter has now been dealt with internally, the result of which will remain private.
“Haas F1 Team would like to reaffirm that Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher will form its driver lineup for the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship,” a team statement read.
“As per the team’s previous statement regarding the actions of Nikita Mazepin (December 9) – this matter has now been dealt with internally and no further comment shall be made.”