FIA joins Haas in criticising Mazepin’s “inappropriate” behaviour in social media video

2021 F1 season

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The FIA has joined the Haas Formula 1 team in criticising the behaviour of the team’s new signing Nikita Mazepin in a video posted on social media two days ago.

The video, which appeared on Mazepin’s Instagram account on Tuesday and was subsequently removed, showed Haas’s new driver for the 2021 F1 season grabbing a woman’s breast in a car. The woman, identified in the video as Andrea D’lval, appeared to push him away.

In a statement issued on Thursday the governing body of motorsport said: “We strongly support the Haas F1 Team in its response to the recent inappropriate actions of its driver, Nikita Mazepin.

“Mazepin has issued a public apology for his poor conduct and this matter will continue to be dealt with internally by the Haas F1 Team. The ethical principles and diverse and inclusive culture of our sport are of the utmost importance to the FIA and Formula 1.”

Haas described Mazepin’s behaviour in the video and its publication on his social media account as “abhorrent” and said it would handle the matter internally.

Mazepin issued an apology for his “inappropriate behaviour”. D’lval stated a subsequent social media post she “posted this video on his [Instagram] story as an internal joke”.

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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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92 comments on “FIA joins Haas in criticising Mazepin’s “inappropriate” behaviour in social media video”

  1. You’ve been a bad boy, and if you don’t change your behavior we will have no other choice but to say it again!

    1. Certainly seems to be the case @hunocsi. Then again, I am afraid we should still be somewhat happy that at least they did put out a statement saying that they also feel this was inappropriate behaviour.

      I do think they also cannot do too much directly about it, especially with regards to any further investigation having potential side affects on the people who were involved in this incident, including the victim, with regards to the UAE’s pretty harsh laws about public indecency.

    2. Can they give him another two points on his license and trigger that race ban? Then they can give Grosjean a farewell at the 1st race of next season :)

  2. I’m not a fan of pay drivers but Mazepin is the icing on the cake…

    I’m here all week, folks!

      1. That’s almost as bad as “it’s all turned to custard for d’Ambrosio”…

    1. Montréalais (@)
      10th December 2020, 13:14


      Thank you @sonnycrockett! +1

  3. Is money talking? An ‘internal joke’ and ‘deal with it internally’. Is the FIA trying to assure the matter is not buried under roubles?

    1. Maybe the FIA can be as open with the whole process as they were with Ferrari last season?!

      1. This guy will prove to be “trouble” with a capital “T” …. believe you me. Fights in the pit lane? “Spearing” on the track? Will be entertaining, I guess.

  4. Glass houses ladies and gentlemen.

    1. Exactly. Lot’s of people had good old fun of somebody being spanked not long ago. Christmas cards and whatnot.

      1. Talking about Mosley, which was like 15 years ago when we still had grid girls and when Bernie was still referring to women as kitchen appliances? Thank god things are starting to change. Let’s not pretend this is okay or in any way fun for anyone other than Mazepin.

        1. @repete86 The pretend part is making out as if it’s worst thing in the world for a guy to make a risky physical joke with a mate

          1. And you’re pretending groping someone is funny, which is pretty bad. Stop defending sexual assault.

  5. Who cares? He’s happy, she’s happy… Snowflakes crying everywhere though.

    Stupid to post it on social media though.

    Imagine the number of people who want James Hunt written out of history and his championship revoked hahahaha

    1. @theessence yes, now that she’s come out and said she consented, we can assume that she’s happy. That’s not my issue, nor the majority of people’s issue.

      Look at the pure facts of the video. To quote the article – Mazepin “[grabbed] a woman’s breast in a car. The woman… appeared to push him away.” I’m not condemning the actions – what two consenting adults do behind closed doors is between them – what I have issue with is the fact that consent did not appear to be given, and it was broadcast on social media. Without further clarification, it is clearly a filmed act of sexual assault.

      With regards to James Hunt – as far as I’m aware (and this all happened way before my time so I can’t be 100% sure exactly what happened) he was very much a womanizer but, again, as everything happened between two (or more) consenting adults, I have no issue with him at all. And at no point as far as I’m aware did he ever film and broadcast himself appearing to sexually abuse a woman who has not consented.

      1. So was she wrong to be exposing herself? That must have been offensive to Mazepin!

        It did not look to me like she was bothered by him groping her. Maybe in their friendship or culture there are no boundaries on this- they might not align with your beliefs though. It was up to her to contact authorities if this was not the case, not for everyone else who’s a snowflake to make their own conclusions and rule that it’s a sexual assault. What planet must you be on to jump to these rulings.

        1. @theessence – so full of BS:

          It did not look to me like she was bothered by him groping her.

          It looked exactly like her being bothered, even scared when he did that.

          Maybe in their friendship or culture there are no boundaries on this- they might not align with your beliefs though

          What friendship – them liking each others Ig profiles some 20 minutes before they posted their statements? And what does “their culture” mean – are you saying that sexual assault is normal in Russia?

          The best joke of all is this one

          It was up to her to contact authorities

          . Did you notice this happened in the United Arabic Emirates? Where public decency laws would probably get her arrested and in jail just for being a young female not being escorted by dressed up from top to tail in garments. Having drunk Alcohol would add another few years to that. And having the thing on video and published could add another few years or so.

          1. @bascb Sorry, but what makes you think she is scared? For the short time her face is in the frame, she is smiling. And the thing she does with her finger also does not indicate being scared.

            I am not trying to defend the macho mannerism Mazepin put on display, but her reaction rather indicates she plays along and they are probably intimate.

          2. @d0senbrot – do you know that the smile developed as a facial expression used in situations where one was afraid? Research of primates has learnt us that lesson.

            Her reaction certainly does not show this:

            but her reaction rather indicates she plays along and they are probably intimate.

            As soon as he starts grabbing her, she puts her hands in front of the areas he is groping and moves backwards.

          3. @theessence – ah, the courage of those not even including the person they are reacting to in their comment. Snowflakes are actually quite an interesting physical structure, did you know that?

            As for your comment, yeah, to protect the discussions from derailing too much just about any website with a comments section has an automatic filter that reacts on certain words (and combinations thereof) that are often used in problematic comments.

        2. Snowflake

          a person who…a person who is too sensitive to criticism and easily upset

          Sounds like you

        3. @theessence she tried to push his hand away and cover herself up – that to me looks VERY much like she was bothered. Again, she may not have been, but that is what it appears.
          And as I have said (and I shall repeat again, for the avoidance of doubt) – I am not arguing whether or not this was a sexual assault. We do not know the full details so cannot come to a reasonable conclusion. If the woman has insisted that she consented, then I’m sure we can all accept that.

          However, what is unacceptable is that something occurred that appeared to be normalizing sexual assault. If I did that to any random girl on the street I would likely be arrested – he shouldn’t be posting videos of him doing the same.

      2. @minnis
        “Look at the pure facts of the video.”

        Have you even seen the video? At the end of the video you can see her smile and make a sexual suggestion which gives the impression it was just joking around between two consenting adults. I’m dumbfounded how this kind of fake news gets people so enraged. It is like you people are addicted to it?

    2. James Hunt may have been a ladies man, but he was also a gentleman. Not so with Mazepin.

      1. Indeed @ferrox-glideh, Hunt never gave any impression of having trouble with the concept of consent.

    3. Spot on! He’s not a gentleman, but at least he has a character.

      1. @mrtn the same character who also thought it appropriate to go out partying after hearing that 9 workers for his father’s company has suffocated to death after being trapped in a mine that had caught fire?

    4. Aiyah, careful not to cut yourself on all that edge.

    5. @theessence Even gent Graham Hill was known to be quite ‘fruity’ as son Damon called it

  6. Poor Mazepin. He was going to have it hard enough driving an F1 car without the talent to do so effectively. Now the perpetually offended anglo will burn him at the stake for having a social life besides his work. It doesn’t actually matter if you apologise either, as has been shown many times, they will burn you for the Sin of being less miserable than they are.

    1. Coventry Climax
      10th December 2020, 11:50

      Truly magnificent observations. Care to share how you view this ‘incident’ and how you would like to see it handled?

      1. How should consensual sexual behaviour between two adults be handled?

        1. You don’t seem to understand what consent means, so let’s clear something up for the safety of anyone you pursue. If someone is pushing you away, you don’t have consent. We all saw her push his hands away, try to block the camera, then give him the finger when unsuccessful. You’re just choosing to ignore it, which I’m sure you do in your personal life as well judging by some of your other comments here.

          1. @repete86
            You don’t seem to understand what a consent means. People decide it themselves when they are or are not consenting to something. You don’t get to revoke her consent just because you disagree with it or how it looks. What I saw is her smiling, making a sexual suggestion and joke out of it. If you want to see sexual harassment where the person has come out and said she is happy with how it went then you are clearly being in the wrong, belittling her opinions and consent and putting yourself in authoritative position where you somehow have the right to tell her how she should feel.

  7. Are the nothing to see here, political correctness gone mad brigade the very same ones who needed smelling salts because Hamilton took a knee or wore a T shirt on the podium?
    I do believe some of the most vocal ones are.

    1. Jose Lopes da Silva
      10th December 2020, 11:53

      It’s all about politics, right?
      Mazepin found a great way to get some fans.

    2. Once again Ian, you shine a light straight through to heart of the matter
      Well done


  8. Race As One binned.

    1. János Henkelmann
      10th December 2020, 15:14

      Since you’re talking about racing: how does this in any way affect racing and the chances of minorities to make it into Formula 1?

    2. “We Never Raced As One”?

  9. I haven’t seen the video but apparently people can’t act normally.
    Mazepin living his life with his friends offends me, do not show your private life.

    1. Thankfully @peartree this is no longer normal behaviour. And judging by the mostly reasonable response to it, it’s not acceptable either.

      1. @gongtong I too often wonder why people socialize, not acceptable.

  10. Let’s go back to the fact that the girl in the video was cool with everything and just thought it was funny. They were joking around and everyone took it out of context. I can tell you i’ve done a lot more than that in cars over the years and if you never have, i feel sorry for you.

    The only mistake was posting it online. That was stupid. He desperately needs some media training for sure, but that’s it. Everything else is a non-story.

    1. Agree 100%. People are so eager to be angry online nowadays, it is almost like their own lives are so full of hate they need someone to project that hate towards. In the video it is obvious she enjoyed it, she took it positively, it was adult sexual thing between two consenting adults and to top it off she made a sexual suggestion back. All the while with a smile on her face.

      This is insane. If that counts as sexual attack then my ex-wife sexually attacked me hundreds if not thousands of times. I’m not exaggerating, bragging a bit yes…

  11. Stephen Higgins
    10th December 2020, 12:31

    Mazipan seems (maybe through no fault of his own) to be a real-life combination of Devon Butler and Beau Brandenburg.

    It’s not often we have outright bad guys or villains in F1, or for the most part, sport indeed (other than boxing I suppose, wrestling definitely doesn’t count …), and we wouldn’t love the heroes without them. Stories are never quite as fun without the compelling character in the black hat. Passions are greater, upsets are sweeter, and incredible results are even more impressive when they come at the expense of the villain. In F1’s case though, it’s more rivalries between compelling characters than good vs. evil (Hunt / Lauda, Prost / Senna, Schumacher / Hakkinen and such).

    Looking back it’s hard to think of someone who fits that bill in F1 (although for me personally Nelson Piquet came pretty close). For most part in sport we tend to celebrate mavericks and anti-heroes (Maradona, Alex Higgins, George Best, Eric Bristow, and the like) rather than outright, moustache-twirling cheating villainy.

    I guess it’s just human nature. Sports can generate feel-good stories showcasing people who have worked all of their lives to achieve something very few ever get close to, which ties into our own feelings of wanting to succeed and triumph, sometimes against seemingly impossible odds (Rocky Balboa anyone ??).

    And if it’s someone who has done so by being an honest and decent person who demonstrates fairness and integrity, then I guess it’s so much better.

    1. Michael Schumacher frequently fit your definition of outright, moustache-twirling cheating villainy at times, but them I’m British :D

      1. Stephen Higgins
        10th December 2020, 13:02

        True, but my point is that even despite some of his more questionable moments, you could never accuse Michael Schumacher of being a fundamentally bad person, he was still a hero to many people.

  12. “We Don’t Race As One” then…

  13. The canned response from D’lval screams ‘I was leant on by the Mazepin family and I genuinely worry for my life’.

    Just what I’ve found out regarding Mazepin since this whole nonsense erupted shows how inappropriate him being granted his super license is – the violence off track, blackmailing George Russell, causing accidents or swiping out at other drivers on track… will his F2 penalty points carry over? Do we reckon he could end up banned if he gets another during the first race next year?

    1. @optimaximal you forgot to mention the accusations of deliberately breaching covid lockdown regulations to hold parties, which then helped spread the disease, along with the whole “covid celebration” joke that came across as a jab at Schwartzman, whose father died of the disease earlier this year.

    2. So the facts are not enough anymore, need conspiracy theories to keep that hate going?

  14. Interesting observations: almost none of the people condoning Mazepin’s behaviour online are women. It’s crazy how many male fans Mazepin has made on this site by acting like a tool.

    1. Quite @wsrgo. Telling, isn’t it.

      1. To be fair, I haven’t seen many women (including the one involved) complaining about it either.

        1. Don’t blame them, the F1 fan who refused him nude pics of herself was still getting abuse online just a few days ago along with her family and friends from his followers. And the one who complained to him about his followers gay bashing them was basically told by him ‘so what’.

        2. As Ian mentions, it can be pretty rough to speak up about and against this kind of stuff @glynh. But I did see a fair share of the female racing fans reacting non the less.

        3. I disagree. It seems like over half of the people commenting on it on twitter are women. The only people I see defending him are men though.

  15. Hey I said ALL OF THIS yesterday when the news broke. And much of what I wrote then can be read today by the very words that are being used. Nothing really different than my words too. But it was too delicate for you then and my comment was dumped twice. Today it’s OK.

    HOW COME???????

    1. Would probably just have been something small that got your earlier messages stuck in the auto filter then.

    2. What you commented yesterday bears no resemblance to the contents of the FIA/F1’s statement or this article.

      1. I’m sorry to you. My words are embarrasing as I read them back
        I took the story as presented was some sexy time stuff should not ever happen but with young kids horseplay often crosses the line and the first time he heard STOP or NO then STOP YOU IDIOT. LEAVE ME ALONE. The story seems to have changed as the good and bad support surely is in uptake as the media sells it stories. The original speaks of a moment where He surely thought it was playful fun between the sexes but now that it’s out it’s now a crime. Sounds like attorney speak here too. Somebody got to the girl and although I believe what happenedDID happen the degree of her feelings have been now shared by others. There’s money to be made from stories like this and guys and girls love to tease but in this case it’s not funny at all and I was wrong for my words. Hazel my apologies to you.
        I need to think more before writing.

  16. I’m just sitting here gleefully waiting for his impending fisticuff with Verstappen next year. Like I just know it would happen.

  17. Anyone who can’t understand what was wrong with it clearly doesn’t understand sexism. Of you can’t see discrimination where it exists you’re part of the problem.

    Women are not objects that you just grab at your desire. It was completely out of order to do it, completely unacceptable for her to say it was a joke because it never is.

    The only thing acceptable is both Haas’s and the FIA’s responses condemning it.

    1. János Henkelmann
      10th December 2020, 15:19

      There is no discrimination when the person who is “discriminated against” doesn’t feel discriminated.

      Screaming that she is the victim of sexual assault when she clearly stated she didn’t feel assaulted AT ALL
      is victimizing and patronizing by the way. (#believeallwomen)

      Also: you don’t get to decide what other people consider to be a joke. (“because it never is”)

      1. Regardless of consent, which definitely wasn’t there. It isn’t even about the woman there, it is about every woman. It is about every woman that has been inappropriately groped by a man who thinks he has the right to do so. It became about every woman when it was shared on social media, something shared on social media is never a private joke. It is a disease that affects men called hypermasculinity, or toxic masculinity if you like. It’s the “Ooooh, look what a man I am… I just grabbed her ***!”.

        Coercing her into pretending it was OK afterwards doesn’t make it better, it makes it worse. Words and meanings are two very different things. You and nobody else except her knows how that made her feel. It was completely inappropriate and unacceptable.

  18. I had to google the video, then the uncensored version.. took me long enough.. Then I was disappointed.

    There was some gropping going on, between two consenting adults.

    If this is the best playboy racer F1 has to offer, we have moved a long way from Days of Nikki and Hunt.

    As for all this FIA talk and Haas talk, what are they on about? Is this inappropriate personal life? Since when do F1 drivers have to be saints? Have 4 children, work on motorcycle on monday, visit cathedral of speed on sunday?

    This whole thing is a gross overreaction.

    Now if she would not consent and report him for harassment, totally different matter.

    The real problem is here however: Right now we love to hate Stroll, haralded as the #1 pay driver. Mazepin is not even in F1 and already trying to take away his spot. What will we blame Stroll of then?

  19. I am intensely disturbed to find out so many commenters here think crossing your arms across your chest, grabbing at someone’s hand to stop it going down your top and aggressively (yes, sexually but aggressively nonetheless) giving them the middle finger is “enthusiastic consent.”

    1. @hazelsouthwell Thank you for saying that and it is why in one comment yesterday I suggested, after seeing what you have well described, she then supposedly had his phone and selected the video he took and posted it on his page as a joke? That just doesn’t seem to add up to me.

    2. @hazelsouthwell It’s quite distressing really. One doesn’t need to have been on the receiving end of sexual assault to know that this is objectionable behaviour and it’s objectionable material to post online from any person, let alone one who is a Formula 1 driver. The dismissive nature of many of these comments also speaks so loudly. Not to mention the usual roll call of names people calling out Mazepin get: woke, SJWs, virtue signallers, pearl clutchers, soyboys, white knights and whatnots. It’s just all-round depressing and distressing.

    3. @hazelsouthwell

      As a mental health professional who has worked with young female victims of “assumed consent” : thank you for that comment.

    4. @hazelsouthwell Then what do you define a smile, sucking your finger in sexually suggestive way while laughing it off? Between two sexually connected adults?

      Boggles the mind.

      1. Lewis was investigated for a t-shirt, and the best they can do is agree with Haas’ statement? After not missing a race in over a decade, I’m probably done if this menace still has a seat next year.

      2. @socksolid I have described it above. Sucking your finger in a lewd way while flipping someone off is not consent to be filmed while having your breasts groped.

        Before you come out with anything silly: I am 33 and there are many things you could accuse me of but prude is extremely not one of them. It’s pretty easy to find my writing about sex.

        1. @hazelsouthwell
          “Sucking your finger in a lewd way while flipping someone off is not consent to be filmed while having your breasts groped.”

          You don’t get to make that decision for her. She has said it is fine.

          1. @socksolid if you need someone to say it’s fine retroactively, it’s questionable enough that you should err on the side of caution and not do it.

            If the consent is questionable, the right thing to do is assume it isn’t there. There are circumstances where it can be more casually assumed – like with people you know very, very well but generally, if you make a move to grope someone, they push it away then that’s pretty clear rejection.

          2. @hazelsouthwell
            Deleting comments you disagree with only proves you have no facts to stand on. Hard to imagine at one point I was happy supporting this site financially.

          3. @socksolid

            Your comment wasn’t removed for “disagreeing” with me, it was because you described the idea of informed, confirmed consent to sexual acts as “bonkers” and totalitarian.

    5. Were these comments deleted?

      1. I don’t think so; there are plenty of people claiming to infer the woman’s consent from her body language up thread. I thought it would be helpful, as a woman who is often in interesting situations with rich or powerful men, especially in motorsport, to offer my own reading on her body language rather than the cited smile.

        “Enthusiastic consent” is what should be sought for sexual interaction, generally. It’s a really good and healthy baseline; I say this as someone who (without getting TMI) has plenty of opportunities to think about this and why it’s good and, indeed, sexy.

        1. Thank you for speaking out. I can’t believe some of the comments on here about this. Glad some of them have been moderated away, including the one that questioned/attacked my masculinity because they can’t see the problem here. Bigotry of any form should not be tolerated or accepted anywhere or at any time.

  20. And yet, in all the ‘official’ team and FIA blather, the word disrepute did not get mentioned once.

  21. I’ve just seen the clip on youtube, and imo opinion the passenger’s reactions were as much to do with the fact he was filming on his camera with one arm, whilst grouping out behind him with the other arm. That said he should not have posted on social media, as i doubt that is any kind of publlicity to have persisting on the net.

    The FIA reactions seems strong for what it was. “Abhorrent” is one of those words i would save for those situations which are truly deserving of that title.

    Without knowing of his relations to that passenger, i have no other opinion.

    1. To comment on filming someone while you grope them at large, rather than specifically: not consenting to being filmed is also not consent, legally speaking.

  22. Dump the guy already!

  23. Wait, so Lewis was investigated for a t-shirt and the best the FIA can do in this situation is agree with Haas’ nothing statement? I’m probably done if this menace is still on the grid next year and I haven’t missed a race in like 10 years. I can deal with a sketchy pay driver with a history of dangerous driving to a point, but filming a sexual assault and posting it to IG? How is that not bringing the sport into disrepute?

  24. Agris Rūmītis
    10th December 2020, 20:45

    ridiculous reaction from all authoriteis. dont pretend to be that sterile – we live in 21th cenctury. yes – it wasn’t smart from Mazepin to post it but on other hand from that Lady’s reaction it did NOT look like abusive move at all. Mazepin, FIA and F1 all seem to have to grove up a little bit and Mazepin perhaps is most gown up between all involved

  25. Once he does another unacceptable action, I will say “IT’S HAPPENING” referring to Ilott stealing his seat.

  26. I’d like to say I’m shocked at the men defending him, but I’m not. I’m nauseous. Have you thought about what it would be like for her? She’s trapped in a car with 2 men and she clearly did not want to be groped at first… But if she continues to resist, then what? Best case: she’s called a prude and told to lighten up because it’s “just a joke”. Worst case: we all saw what he did to Illot when he got mad.

    On top of that, regardless of whether as one individual woman she was ok with that scenario, is this really all we can expect from men? That our bodies are there for their use? There are 20 people who drive F1 every year… Is this really the best the world can do?

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