Haas Formula 1 boss Guenther Steiner says the team is taking Nikita Mazepin’s recent video incident “seriously”.

Earlier this week a video emerged on Mazepin’s Instagram story that showed him groping a woman’s breast in the back of a car before it was hastily deleted. Despite this, it resurfaced across social media as it was widely shared online.

Haas described the actions of its recently-signed 2021 driver as “abhorrent”, with the Russian himself later issuing an apology in a statement, while the woman involved insisted that she had uploaded the video to Mazepin’s account as an “internal joke” and defended his behaviour.

F1 and governing body the FIA issued a joint-statement on Thursday supporting the Haas team, who have announced that it is dealing with the matter internally.

Speaking at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Haas team principal Steiner stressed that the American squad wants to keep the ongoing matter private as he refused to be drawn on concerns over damage to the team’s image and reputation.

“The latest is there is no news and we don’t want any news out of it, we are dealing with it internally and that’s the only thing I want to say,” Steiner told Sky F1.

“We take this seriously what happened and we will deal with it.

“I don’t want to go into any comments about the damage and things like this, I just want to say trust us and we will deal with it.”

Mazepin finished fifth in the 2020 Formula 2 championship and will make his F1 debut alongside F2 champion Mick Schumacher at Haas next season.

In the final weekend in Bahrain, Mazepin picked up penalties for separate incidents that left him one point shy of a race ban.

The 21-year-old also received a ban in 2016 after punching Callum Ilott following a post-race disagreement in European Formula 3.

 

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