NIKITA MAZEPIN needs to “grow up” according to Haas boss Guenther Steiner.
Last month the controversial Russian driver posted a video on social media that showed a woman being groped in the back of a car.
Nikita Mazepin has apologised for his actionsCredit: Getty Images – Getty
The footage was deleted and Mazepin subsequently apologised but there has been a considerable campaign to get the 21-year-old kicked out of the sport.
There have been calls for Haas, F1 and the sport’s governing body to take a stand against Mazepin, who was once banned for punching British racing driver, Callum Ilott.
And Haas team principal Steiner admitted that the case is not yet closed, as they weigh up how to handle Mazepin, whose father is a tycoon and provides lucrative financial backing.
Steiner said: “He did something he shouldn’t have done, and we were very outspoken about what we thought about it at the time.
“He’s apologised 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.
“He knows that. He realises that what was done wasn’t right. I’m not the type of guy who kicks in the face someone who’s on their knees – that’s not right.
“This is a young man who needs to grow up and for sure we have dealt with this and we will continue to deal with this.”
NO SECOND CHANCES
It is unknown what Haas are planning to do with Mazepin but Steiner says there will be consequences if such an event happens again.
In his column on The Race, he added: “We are not saying that this was OK and letting him get away with it. We are educating him and will keep on educating him for his future.
“There will be consequences if this or something similar happens again. We have put things in place that will help him to get better and make sure this doesn’t happen again; not to make the same mistake again, because this was a clear mistake.
“And he took responsibility, which for me was very important. I always say if you know what you did wrong you can do better. If you are in denial, then it doesn’t work.
“People have an opinion, that’s fine, also internally people didn’t like what happened, and this is why we continue to take this seriously
“But the full details of what we did, and what we are doing – I don’t want to disclose. This is not done and dusted, this is an ongoing thing, we are not moving on like nothing ever happened.
Mazepin’s father provides financial backing to the Haas team
The young driver has been told to grow up
The Russian posted this apology on Instagram
“I’m aware of the response on social media – and social media can be your friend and it can also be your enemy.
“People have an opinion, that’s fine, also internally people didn’t like what happened, and this is why we continue to take this seriously.
“This is a distraction that we don’t want, but sometimes these things happen. Of course, I would have rather this had not happened, but we got in this position and now we have to work on it, it’s part of our job.”
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Source: Motorsport - thesun.co.uk