Nikita Mazepin, Haas, 2020

Haas swept their Mazepin problem under the carpet. Now it’s F1’s problem


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Haas’s confirmation today that a disgraceful video showing its driver Nikita Mazepin groping a woman in a car has not cost him his Formula 1 debut will appal many but surprise few.

Disquiet over Mazepin’s suitability for F1 had been voiced long before. In 2016 he was banned from a Formula 3 race – one of three being held on the weekend in question – for attacking Callum Ilott, leaving him with a black eye and swollen jaw. This year Mazepin ended his second season of F2 one penalty point away from qualifying for an automatic ban.

Nonetheless with gigantic backing behind him – his father, a petrochemicals billionaire, tried to buy the Force India Formula 1 team two years ago – Mazepin’s graduation to F1 was long regarded as a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’. His junior category results were creditable if not outstanding – second in GP3 in 2018, fifth in Formula 2 this year – but an extensive private F1 testing programme with multiple world champions Mercedes, not unlike Lance Stroll’s with Williams four years ago, means he will be more than ready.

For the seriously cash-strapped Haas outfit, a deal with Mazepin proved too lucrative to turn down. The team had already shown the door to both its regular drivers, Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, as it sought someone who would bring backing. “There was a big chance that we are not here anymore,” Steiner admitted last month.

Nikita Mazepin, Formula 2, Mugello, 2020
Mazepin’s on-track conduct has also drawn criticism
“We have got our work cut out,” he added separately when asked about Mazepin’s on-track conduct, unaware a far bigger scandal was just days away.

The video appeared eight days after Haas announced Mazepin’s 2021 debut. The footage was swiftly deleted, but had already been widely captured and shared. Haas reacted to it quickly, but carefully. While stating they “do not condone the behaviour of Nikita Mazepin in the video”, they saved their strongest language for the fact the footage was published on social media, which they described as “abhorrent”.

Mazepin also issued an apology, though it is no longer visible on his Instagram account. Around the same time the woman seen in the video – Andrea D’Ival – told her social media followers it had not been Mazepin, but herself who posted it.

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During the last race weekend of the season Steiner indicated the team was still in discussions with Mazepin over the affair but may keep the resolution private. “If we think we can live without [it] coming out, we’ll do that one,” he said.

Guenther Steiner, Bahrain International Circuit, 2020
Steiner admitted Haas came close to folding this year
Clearly Haas have decided they can live without making the resolution public, as all they announced today is that Mazepin will remain their driver for the 2021 F1 season and “this matter has now been dealt with internally”.

This inevitably prompts questions: What might Haas have said internally which cannot be shared externally? As Mazepin’s presence appears to be vital to the team’s existence at the moment, it’s hard to imagine it amounts to very much at all.

What reassurances have been given to the team’s staff about his behaviour? Those who have seen the video of an athletic man forcibly grabbing a young woman of slight build would be entirely justified to ask if they are safe to share a workplace with him.

Haas’s handling of the Mazepin affair will leave some wondering whether F1 needs a team who, in the words of its own driver, “weren’t really racing” at the end of the year, yet brings the sport into such ill repute.

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Haas’s problem has therefore become Formula 1’s problem. Already this year we’ve seen swift, decisive action in other series where drivers have behaved unacceptably. Formula E driver Daniel Abt cheated in a virtual race and paid for it with his job; NASCAR’s Kyle Larson faced the same after he was broadcast uttering a racial obscenity. These are, of course, not perfectly analogous incidents, but should F1 hold its drivers to a lower standard?

Formula E’s Abt lost his drive over a cheating row
Formula 1 has been keen to indicate the progress it has made in its treatment of women since Liberty Media took charge in place of Bernie Ecclestone, who infamously likened them to kitchen appliances. The use of ‘grid girls’ was scrapped immediately after they took over, and next year the all-female feeder category W Series will support eight rounds of the championship.

At the end of a year in which Formula 1 can be proud of its successful response to the unprecedented and unforeseen challenges of the pandemic, successfully holding an often thrilling 17-race championship, the Mazepin affair is a bitter coda which drags the sport into the gutter.

We’ve been told all year that in Formula 1, ‘We Race As One’. Allowing Mazepin to excuse his disgraceful behaviour with nothing more than an apology which has already disappeared will prove the hashtag does not ring true.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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154 comments on “Haas swept their Mazepin problem under the carpet. Now it’s F1’s problem”

  1. Kieth, no offence but young people do stupid things all the time. In all honesty I had forgotten this incident took place but congratulations on trying to prolong a 20 second video which has been apologized for.

    1. proud_asturian
      23rd December 2020, 14:40

      That’s “”journalists”” for you pal
      They think they run the world and that they have some influence.
      They don’t.

      1. Don’t get me wrong, I love this website and Kieth makes Formula One better for me because of it but this kid has apologized, Haas has made a decision no matter why or how they came to it, so let’s drop it and give him another chance. Doesn’t matter how many he’s already had, everyone deserves to right a wrong and not have an internet mob determine his future.

        1. @canadianjosh

          Haas probably can’t do anything else, because the contracts have been signed and they can’t just break them.

        2. Neil Debacquer
          23rd December 2020, 20:56

          He recently removed his apology which I assume means that he doesn’t think his behaviour was wrong.

      2. Agreed! Journalists love turning a minor act of immaturity into an OMG OUTRAGE!!!!!! kind of thing.

        1. indeed @jblank – journalists love to hype things to the extreme, helps to bring in the cancel culture clicks in to view.

        2. Wait until Mazepin drills Steiner! Or a tire guy … or … violence is the first resort of the incompetent.

      3. Hey, you know more than one word, congratulations! Your responses in the last article were rather annoying.

        I think it’s pretty obvious Keith isn’t a Mazepin fan, but if you take a step back, what does this guy really add to the mix?

        I guess the best I can hope for is that Mick absolutely dusts him and Haas becomes Uralkali Racing. Mazepin, Lance, and Latifi can fight it out for the best daddy-purchased seat.

        1. Oh and Mick’s dad & family have had no influence or financial input on his motor racing career.

      4. It’s called an Op-ed.

        Nothign wrong with voicing an opinion on your own damn website.

        My God the preciousness of some people.

      5. Actually they do, they always have the first and the last word and even though they are only one voice they act like they are the voice of the people.
        I used to admire journalism, stating something without implying anything is very difficult and journalistic values were praised back in the day. These days every news bite is an opinion piece. What we used to criticize as biased, propaganda media are today’s “respected” and “trusted” sources. New journalists are far from credible, partly as a consequence of trying to tell people off rather than just passing information. There used to be room for both. Many articles are not passed through mo specialist or if they do, it is the “x reacts to x” youtube specialist, even some articles are now titled like so.
        Everything starts with “why”. Not inquisitive not as an answer or justification but as “why not”. As a way to dismiss people, discriminate all, we are all wrong, every single one of our different opinions. Journos are always right and rife to deny the public and educate without actually having the right to do it, because they don’t have the information to do it and the skill to write like journos used to.
        I understand that maybe we have come to the realization that it is not economically viable to make good journalism anymore. Journos in todays social media verified world, like businesses and advertisers, aim at herds, use herd mentality tactics to corral audiences in order to forge an audience.
        Unfortunately good journalism is not even a niche thing now.
        Even a platform like youtube riddled with influencers has, niche channels and some “creators” with journalistic like values, in their respective areas of interest.
        A journalist used to tell you their opinion without sounding like a jehovah’s witness. Nobody likes to be told off, nobody likes to be rubbished off without respite. Journalists used to investigate, try to get to the bottom of it, stick their necks out. Now they try to stick everyone’s neck in. There is no denying it, “fake news” is just “news”. Click-bait, bogus journalism, and traditional journalism are not far apart the same mistakes are made.

    2. @canadianjosh Yes it seems like this young person does stupid things all the time. Keith has brought the issue to the fore because of Haas’ official announcement that he will indeed be on the team next year, which makes it F1’s issue. You say no offence, but indeed you’re being offensive and are accusing Keith of taking license by drumming up the story needlessly, and nothing could be further from the truth.

      1. Hey I have the utmost respect for Kieth, this will be my last post on this topic as I’m predicting a few good jabs from other posters but Robbie, I do believe in giving people chances to right their wrongs.

        1. @canadianjosh Pretty sure part of the gist of the article is that Mazepin has been given other chances to right his wrongs and that doesn’t seem to affect his behaviour for the good. How many offences must a repeat offender commit before you start to doubt the genuineness of the apologies?

          Keith’s point is well taken. By Haas declaring the matter settled by confirming his position on the team it is now F1’s issue, and F1 will have to wear his next indiscretion in an atmosphere of ‘we race as one.’ To some, F1 is already now wearing the past indiscretions of this person, and will be on guard for the next one. Not really what F1 needed but hey, I can also look at the glass half full and at least hope that he has finally learned a lesson this time and will respect that there’s nowhere higher he can go than to be in F1, and to not squander the opportunity. He hasn’t gotten off to a good start, though. Surely you can admit that.

          1. 100% I can admit he’s on the wrong path

          2. Brian Christopher Peterson
            24th December 2020, 0:32

            I doubt Haas would have made this move without running it past F1 first.

      2. Well said there @robbie.

        1. Also agree with @robbie. @rocketpanda explained the issue in a below comment better than most. This one incident could be viewed as a mistake, but consistent poor behaviour means the “boys will be boys” excuse really isnt appropriate.

    3. if someone assaults you for a 20 second video and apologizes after is it over or how does that work?

      It’s for a friend

      1. The comment of being “handled internally”
        translates out to mean “getting away with murder” so Haas needs the money coming from Mazipan deep pockets to survive. That means he gets away with it for now.
        But when the Haas continues on its recent history of performance and it begins to show in Mazipans results it won’t be long for them to dump the kid after using his money to try to make a better racer. It’s a great world. There was a time when a man facing all that Haas is facing would stand up and say Hell No to the kid and his money and be respected for it. Now I’m beginning to doubt the Haas approach. Sounds like they are moving in a survival direction. The joy of the Schumacher impact to the team and its fans and investors. At the same time the mazipan mess and how it’s gone negative. For Haas to retain him looks to me like pretty lousy choice. Money solves all problems.

    4. Amazing how I made it through my first 21 years then without sexually assaulting a single woman.

      Being young isn’t an excuse for sexual assault. Ever.

      1. Did you see her response? She didn’t press charges, she didn’t treat it as the end of the world, let’s move on and not turn this into the most important issue in the world.

        1. Yes, I saw her response. And while that response matters in so far as to her relationship with him. It ultimately doesn’t matter to what the response to his behaviour should be from all of us, and from Haas and FOM/FIA in particular.

          Let me say this again, sexual assualt is never okay. It doesn’t magically not become sexual assault because the woman in question is “okay” with it afterwards. It’s still sexual assault and it should be treated with the gravity it deserves to get. What if the next woman that gets assaulted “just for a laugh” isn’t okay with it? Should she just shrug it off, because the last woman was okay with getting groped? Nah mate.

          This is not okay. This is never okay. Not for rich people, not for poor people, not for famous people, not for regular working Joe’s. It’s not excused by age. It’s not excused by the assaultee retroactively “being okay with it.” There is no excuse, and it should be a grave offense.

          Do not ever for any reason grope another human and post it to social media, should be the moral default here.

          1. There was never sexual assault in the first place @aiii These are just two young people messing around. The problem is that the few media who reposted the video censored her face (and her boobs), which means you can’t see her laughing all the way through the video. It’s almost as if the media wants to make it look worse than it is to drive traffic and controversy, but surely that never happens, right?

            You could argue that Mazepin was ungentlemanlike in the video, and that it reflects poorly on Haas. But in the end it was just two consenting adults having fun.

          2. MILES ANDERSON
            23rd December 2020, 15:59

            I completely agree with what you’ve said here. Its never ok.

          3. her apology aside, the girl in the video later posted Instagram stories that implied that it was actually non-consensual (responding to questions with something like “never let a guy touch me again” and some other stuff). It kind of invalidated her previous statement, and Mazepin subsequently deleted his apology. I’m not one to draw conclusions directly from part-ambiguous indications on social media but it’s uncertain as to whether she was actually “okay” with it or not to begin with. this, in addition to your points, makes it pretty clear that action must be taken, in my view.

          4. “Let me say this again, sexual assualt is never okay. It doesn’t magically not become sexual assault because the woman in question is “okay” with it afterwards.”

            Is it sexual assault though, if its consensual?

        2. That she didn’t. In return I believe she received a fair amount of money to do so and keep her mouth shut. Don’t be naive, please.

        3. “Pressing charges” is not really something a young woman in her position would be able to do in the UAE. She herself could easily be deemed to have broken several laws just by being there @jblank

        4. If the woman in question had taken the matter any further, she might have found herself in much worse trouble, and Mazepin wouldn’t have that drive. The widely-circulated suggestion is that large sums of money have been flying around to make this problem, and other, un-videoed problems, go away. It looks as if this is a young man who has become accustomed to doing whatever he wants, and always gets away with it.

      2. Didn’t she say it was consensual? This is literally a non-event, but we’re living in strange times

        1. Lenny (@leonardodicappucino)
          23rd December 2020, 15:51

          @paeschli She somewhat did (calling it something like fooling/joking around, and saying the two were friends), but has since deleted that and multiple later social media posts have shown that that was not a true reaction. It very much seems like she was pressured into or paid off to say the things she said immediately afterwards. Also covering your face and throwing up the finger to the camera (her reaction in the video) does not strike me as something you’d do if you were on board with what was going on

        2. @paeschli whilst ostensibly she has indicated that there was some element of consent, there were other events occurring around that time that have cast some doubt over whether she made that statement entirely of her own volition.

          Furthermore, there have been some more recent comments by that same lady which have subsequently raised the question of whether she really did give informed consent at the time. Legally speaking, there is also the question of whether an individual who was as intoxicated as she was really could give informed consent when their judgement would be quite heavily impaired in that situation.

          Just wondering – would you, or the others defending Mazepin’s behaviour, consider it a “non-event” if it happened to be somebody you knew who was on the receiving end of Mazepin’s behaviour? Would you just brush it off as “a bit of foolish behaviour” if it was rather more personal to you, rather than being able to view it through the position of isolated detachment you are adopting right now?

          1. @leonardodicappucino The problem is that most people have only seen the censored version, where you can’t see her face. She laughs the whole way through.
            I don’t care if it is or was a friend of Mazepin, a prostitute or my sister: there’s absolutely nothing wrong with fooling around.

          2. For me, if she was absolutely okay with it? Yeah.

            If she was not okay, then no.

    5. I’m not surprised that there’s a special comment article about this silly little things here. We already have one about how important it is to discuss human melanin level.

    6. The fact that the girl involved was ok with the actions and videos made the case almost irrelevant.
      The remaining relevant part is that the guy is possibly not smart enough to avoid posting such a video.
      The rest of the controversy is a preemptive PR raid to avoid a anti-PR move.

    7. My only question to this is how do these teams worth hundreds of millions in a sport worth billions let these numbskulls have control of their social media? Let’s not even go into his hair and the fact they don’t have a stylist for him, but why wouldn’t the teams make them sign over control of their social media? Seems like a no brainer with the constant problems this causes.

      1. Have you seen his dad? It seems like he just cloned himself into Nikita. That’s like next level narcissism. And since he’s much richer than the team his son is driving for, he is surrounded by ‘stylists’ and other yes men of his own choosing.

    8. The difference is that most young people aren’t high profile sports people that assume a role model status whether they like it or not. By excusing his behaviour, the team and the sport are saying to young people everywhere that sexual harassment is completely fine.

    9. Glad we move away from bashing the Verstappens though. The cicle bad jounalism and sheep crowd continuous somewhere else. If it is not British, its not much, right?

    10. Interesting these wall of texts comments.
      The fact is you can’t fire your own ” job giver”. Yes, Mazepin(‘s father) gere is the jobgiver to Haas, where money comes from.

      Now in the other cases (Abt etc.) Where thre race drivers cheated and so on, obviously they were just an employee, their behaviour would effect the reputation of their team causing damage to business and close the money flow.

      What is the case here? Your own employer can’t close his own moneyflow lol.
      These multis and ofc the formula teams all over the world do not care about really the behaviour or the mankind rights just about their reputation which would damage and effect their money flows.

    11. Yes, Kids do stupid things…. however sexual assault and harrassment is NOT a stupid act that can
      be just brushed aside like a a bit of graffiti while on a drunken stupor. Not to mention he already has a track record (pun intended) of dangerous behaviour on track as well as several ethically questionable antics off track via social media and in person.

      If Haas dealt with this matter internally and he turns a new leaf fine, but if they just slapped his wrist because they are desperate for cash a la Rich Energy, FIA really needs to take a closer look at their operations.

      Either way, your claims of childhood stupidity for this incident is misguided and unacceptable.

    12. Sexual assault is never acceptable. No matter what your age. Not even if the woman later says “we’re friends” (and we all know the pressure she would have felt to say that!). He reached back and groped her on camera as though she was his for the groping.

      It follows a pattern of entitled behaviour from Mazepin, showing that he believes he can take what he wants, when he wants it. Space on the race track? My right to take it, even if another car is already there. Angry with another driver? My right to attack him. A woman in the car? My right to touch, uninvited.

      Most men live their entire lives without doing something like this – including when they are young. That’s because most men understand how to discipline themselves to behave in a civilised way. Moreover… Formula 1 drivers are the pinnacle of the sport – with their names and “brand” promoted worldwide under F1’s banner, and their behaviour should reflect that privilege.

    13. Whole article reaks of click bait

  2. The article is good, but if you are going to touch the question of Mazepin’s talent, maybe don’t compare it with Stroll’s and how he managed to get into F1. At least Stroll won Italian F4, Toyota Racing Series and European F3 on the trot, reducing it to “but an extensive private F1 testing programme with multiple world champions Mercedes, not unlike Lance Stroll’s with Williams four years ago” is just wrong

    Regarding the issue, I see to options here for Haas

    They either fired the guy and risk team bankrupcy with hundreds of people losing their jobs


    They don’t fire the guy, they risk bankrupcy because no other sponsor wants to be associated with them, and hundreds of people lose their jobs

    I would go for the first one

    1. @johnmilk I have to agree, I don’t know how close Haas are to ‘turning off the lights for the last time’, but regardless of your opinion of Mazepin and the things he does, I can’t see any board of any company wanting to put their sticker on the car, especially after the Rich Energy debacle.

      Weirdly, in terms of goodwill and marketability, Romain’s survival story, his affability, family man persona, as grim as it is to equate what happened to him to money, it could have been a positive in the public perception of the team. My mum knew little about F1 until ‘Drive to Survive’, (I’ve never actually watched it) and Romain, she’s watched every race the last two years because she has her favourites (Sergio, Romain and George). She cheers them on because she likes them as people (why it’s them, I dunno, again, I’ve never watched the show).

      She has just turned 60, and now she messages me about how ‘outside the top 10 at Monza, the hardest tyre is surely a no-brainer, you might get a safety car in the opening few laps but nobody will pit anyway, then there’s a strong likelihood you’ll get one in the last 1/3, you can get heat into hards through curva grande and the lesmos’

      I think, bloody hell, a few years ago she could only name Senna and Schumacher. But I guess she’s part of the new ‘Liberty’ generation of fans, and I can’t see how Mazepin fits in with this unless he just plays the villain all the time.

      It’s not likely, but if my mum was to go buy a power tool, she’d walk straight past any Haas products on the basis they employ him.

      I think in the long run, it’ll do Haas more harm than good, whatever Mazepin is paying them, taking ‘the high road’ and going with someone with better credentials (you don’t have to say it’s because of his actions, just go with someone with better results) is surely better than just digging a slow and deep, perhaps irrecoverable hole.

      1. @bernasaurus besides the fact that I agree with your comment

        most importantly I just want to tell you, that I don’t know your mother and I already love her, cherish her mate

        1. @johmilk Ha! I’ll try, thanks, I won’t mention you said this because if you get her onto F1 she won’t shut up.

          1. @bernasaurus will be able to explain graining in no time

  3. He has to go!

    Driving in F1 it’s privilege!

    There are 20 places.

    He doesn’t deserve one. Even if his daddy is a Russian millionaire, in other words, a Russian oligarch….

    1. You don’t seem to know a thing about Russia. Not all millionaires are oligarchs. Not Mazepin, for instance.

  4. Problem with Mazepin is that its not just the groping video. It’s him punching Ilott, insinuating Russell’s sexuality and his poor attitude towards women on social media. If you want to bring in his driving he’s petulant, entitled and his defensive driving is borderline dangerous – and these are just a handful of the iffy behaviour he’s demonstrated. Drivers like Ticktum & Maldonado were villified for significantly less. This isn’t a ‘young person doing a stupid thing’ this is a rich kid that knows better but does it anyway because his money talks louder than him. It’s gross behaviour, and not something to be endorsed as he’s clearly proven he doesn’t learn from his mistakes.

    1. Exactly. I think this particular video has been blown way out of proportion, but it’s the consistency of bad choices that show he’s a grade A asshat.

    2. Well said.

    3. Yes, almost everybody forgot what is the REAL problem with Mazepin.

      1. That’s because the stupid video receives way more attention.
        So much the real problem is out of sight (and out of mind)

        That is the reason we should stop talking about this stupid video and look at the real problem(s) with him.

    4. @rocketpanda Agreed. It’s very easy to jump on the collective bandwagen when an athlete does something slightly out of line, but Mazepin has a history of poor behaviour. A man without his financial backing would have been fired; and let’s face it, wouldn’t be in F1 at all.
      The one positive from this is that Mazepin will be watched more closely and forced to behave better.

  5. Honestly, Dan Ticktum did WAY worst things and he is still around.
    Drivers in the golden era of F1 punched each others in the face every freaking weekend.
    Chill out.

    1. Way worse.
      Please, I need an “edit” button!!

      1. @liko41 no – drivers in the past were not constantly fighting and brawling in the paddock in the “golden era” of F1: you are projecting a vastly exaggerated level of violence and aggression onto the paddock in that era.

        If the drivers really were fighting to that sort of level every single weekend, don’t you think that, just maybe, there might have been a few signs of the effects of that? It’s not like the drivers were appearing every weekend covered in bruises, cuts and black eyes.

        Just look at the reaction after Senna punched Irvine after the 1993 Japanese GP – back in 1993, most people were disgusted with Senna’s behaviour, with Senna being largely condemned as a thug and a coward for punching Irvine and Senna thought lucky to get away with a two race suspended ban. The fact that Senna was both heavily penalised and heavily condemned rather underlines the point that such violence was considered pretty shocking and abnormal – which is not surprising, as most normal people don’t constantly try to punch each other in the head.

        1. I agree. And even if it were true that F1 drivers were violent in the past, does that mean we should accept that as the norm and allow it to continue indefinitely? Or should we aspire to higher standards for our very highly paid athletes who represent their countries, teams, sponsors and F1 in addition to themselves? It’s just a lazy whataboutism argument that deflects from the current issue.

        2. Well, months later: Ticktum possibly redeemed by 1%?

    2. Ticktum’s reputation won’t be redeemed. He should quit.

    3. The King used to be allowed to rape a newlywed woman before her husband on the night of the wedding.

      Just because it happened in the past, doesn’t make it okay now. Just because someone else did a thing that was excused (whether rightly or wrongly excused isn’t even the issue) doesn’t mean this should be as well. It’s not relevant. It’s only relevant what this person did and what the response is to that in 2020.

    4. Lenny (@leonardodicappucino)
      23rd December 2020, 15:57

      Ticktum has his on track issues (which Mazepin is basically equal in anyways) but Ticktum, outside of the car, really is not too bad of a guy. Telling people to “chill out” over sexual assault is like, unimaginable to me. I don’t understand how you could tolerate a sexual predator being in F1.

    5. Brace yourself for the sjw’s. Puppets, personality devoid, you gain nothing for being jealous of a millionaire. If you care about what Mazepins action and who you see of him, rather than try to cancel the guy why not just dislike him with “gusto”.

  6. Mission Failed
    Haas refused to sack the most controversial driver.

  7. I give it 6 months before Max punches him.

    1. Unlikely. Max is a racist brat aswell. They will probably be best mates.

      1. Max should be sacked for using slurs.

      2. @bernasaurus , BB13, I think Nikita has a knack for finding and pressing people’s fury buttons. I don’t think any way of viewing the world is going to prevent an eventual punch if Nikita manages to annoy Max (and crashing into him during a lapping procedure is on record as having been sufficient cause to make Max violent).

        1. Yeah I suppose it is possible that NM could be penalized for taking out Max while being lapped, robbing Max of a sure win, and then when Max confronts him after the race NM might laugh at him rather than apologize and diffuse the situation knowing he was the penalized one, at which point Max might shove him.

          Or, the odds of that happening again, because the drivers just know you don’t race the leader as a backmarker, let alone do anything to risk taking him out, let alone take him out, let alone rub it in his face afterwards, is pretty slim. Guess it will depend on if there is a Ferrari driver that Ferrari-aligned NM in his Haas, feels he needs to help.

          Who knows. One race at a time.

      3. How is Max a racist, lol? God that is the most overused word today.

        1. He is white.. so very suspicious….

          1. What rhymes with Max? Sack, as in firing him! XD

      4. Verstappen is racist because the mongol word in Netherland is popular? lol

  8. We race as one is just a marketing plot… Did they say anything or took action about Verstappen’s Mongol remark? Did they about Mazepin?

    It’s a good message but what substance does it have? Would they do anything to one of their superstars if they crossed the line? Doubt it… In the same way Haas won’t do anything about Mazepin, because they need him. Good will and ethics are thrown out of the window when they clash with interests

    1. @fer-no65 yes, I get we are all thinking for f1 and haas and behind the scenes stuff and you are right and everyone is right, but lets be honest, does this matter to humanity?
      max mongol remark comes from an non-native speaker, for him it is like calling someone a troll or stupid or retarded. Sure all these words will offend people… they are meant to… What is wrong with being human like we all are.

      Cancel culture is what I see, a less powerful driver would have had his career ruined by now, yet I still don’t agree with cancel culture.

  9. Okay, for those wondering why proud_asturian said “COPE” multiple times: It’s an acronym for Committee on Publication Ethics, as pointed out by dbHenry in the other Mazepin article.

  10. A good journalist keeps his (or her) personal opinion out of their work and focuses on the content and the facts

    Otherwise we end up with, as Trump would say, fake news

    1. @the-edge Good journalists do opinion pieces all the time, especially when it is their own blog through which they are opining. Opinion pieces are freely written and debated. It is utter nonsense to equate that to one egomaniac’s trope that everything that goes against him and his sick motivations must be fake.

      1. Well I agree we’re all allowed our own opinions. I just ask opinions are based on fact and no facts based on opinion

        1. @the-edge Fair enough and I think the facts are pretty clear from which Keith has based his comment.

          1. Unless you have evidence to the contrary… 2 friends were mucking about in a car, and the girl placed the clip on his social media which he immediately deleted. Certainly NO sexual assault took place, and crime was committed (unlike in the racial abuse example referred to in the article)

            Those are the facts… do you have any evidence to the contrary?

            If not, then what facts are basing you opinion on?

            Had his actions been on a stranger or even a friend who took offence then this of course would be wrong, but he didn’t, or at least the overwhelming FACTS say he didn’t

          2. @the-edge That you consider no sexual assault occurred is your opinion and not necessarily the facts. None of us have all the facts. Some consider what they saw in that 20 second video was indeed sexual assault without question.

            But it is a fact that NM has a history, and that he has apologized for this video and that it appeared on social media. It is a fact that Haas condemned his behaviour and has now confirmed his place on the team regardless. It is a fact that now any other indiscretions will be for F1 to deal with, not just the Mazepin family or Haas.

            Your opinion that you think is correct does not in any way shape or form confirm or prove the facts. Putting that word in capital letters doesn’t either.

          3. @the-edge the woman in question has, since that first Instagram post where she claimed it was all fun, posted some contradictions to that first statement.


        2. @the-edge

          Well you see, I get the feeling that isn’t really about NM groping, who in my opinion, is his “friend with benefits”. Its about all this other stuff about him, punching his teammate, history of bad behaviour on and off track etc. He doesn’t seem like a good guy, and doesn’t seem like a good racing driver either, so this video was sort of the tipping point that’s caused everyone to lose it?

    2. Right. Don’t have an opinion about sexual assault. Ok.

      Are you for real? Journalists write opinion pieces all the time.

    3. @the-edge Have you not heard of Editor’s Columns? (Every paper I’ve seen in Britain has one). The article was marked “Comment”, if you didn’t want to read comment pieces, you could have navigated away from the article at that point.

  11. I’m so sure James Hunt, nor Alain Prost have done never nothing like that…

    I think calling he “sexual predator” based on a video where he is joking whith a (female) friend (confirmed by the female friend)… a video that lasts 20 seconds… is at least a bit adventurous.

    Having said that, the thing that is clear and that the video does demonstrate is that the boy is stupid. That type of games/flirting/joking/groping with a friend, depends on the level of trust you have with that friend and if is consensual (like she said) is never a problem… until you are a public person, and decide to record it and post it on social media.

    1. In addition to asking female fans for nude pics and getting aggressive when they refuse?

      1. Well what I have read is about the video, which I have also seen. I have not read anything about what you are saying (I haven’t investigated about it either), if so, it is a completely different thing and much more serious.

        But don’t worry, if his driving is going to be similar to what he used in GP2, he will be out pretty soon, and by on-track criteria.

    2. @esmiz Pretty Sure James Hunt at least tried to get consent for his conduct… …and few people in the 1970s considered a drunken “Yes” to be invalid as a form of consent (the way so many people people Nikita’s age do in the 2010s and 2020s).

    3. Exactly what I think, it is so obvious in the video that they have some sort of trust between each other and they are just fooling around (like she confirmed from her social media).
      Sadly now we live in a world where everyone feels offended for the minimal thing, and everything is so over exposed because of social media. ‘Sexual predator’ seems like a strong word for Mazepin behavior in the video and what Keith says in the article

      What reassurances have been given to the team’s staff about his behaviour? Those who have seen the video of an athletic man forcibly grabbing a young woman of slight build would be entirely justified to ask if they are safe to share a workplace with him.

      seems like exaggerating on the issue… I mean, “forcibly grabbing”, yes, definitely she resist to it by licking and sticking her middle finger into her mouth.
      Personally I don’t like the guy and don’t rate him either as a good driver, I believe there where better ones, but money talks in Formula One and he is lucky enough to have a wealthy father who bought him a race drive and is helping a team struggling financially.
      If he is not good enough, for sure his time in F1 will be short.

  12. This article reminds me of the cancel culture that we live in. Unfortunately, I thought that was reserved for Twitter. The kid has lots to learn but one of them isn’t losing his dream before it begins because of this particular action. Suggesting such a thing is as irresponsible as his actions.

    1. If it had just been this one thing I think the tone and the response to the video and the apology would be entirely different. But it has been more than this one thing, and this at the same time F1 wants to race as one. You