Nikita Mazepin, Haas, 2021

Mazepin will not say whether he apologised to woman in grope video

2021 F1 season

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Haas driver Nikita Mazepin refused to say whether he has apologised to Andrea D’lval, the woman he was seen groping in a video he posted on social media in December.

Speaking to media for the first time since the incident three months ago, Mazepin confirmed he was the person who uploaded the video and not D’Ival, as was claimed at the time.

“I take the responsibility for my actions, I’m very firm in that,” he said. “In regards to the video coming on to social media, I can say it was in my hands that I’ve put it there.”

However he refused to say whether he had apologised for grabbing her breast while the pair sharing a car together.

“I think her privacy matter is very important in this case,” said Mazepin. “I don’t think it would be correct for me to bring other people into this very wide media discussion. And that’s why I’m not going to do that.”

In a 20-minute conference involving media including RaceFans, Mazepin faced sustained questioning over the incident before journalists were asked to address other subjects. The video, which has prompted strong criticism from fans, appeared eight days after Haas announced the Formula 2 driver will race for them this year.

Mazepin said he was “not proud” of the incident and that he “didn’t behave as I’m meant to behave being in Formula 1.” He said he had been slow to realise the different expectations people would have of him after his promotion.

“Graduating to Formula 1 and being a Formula 1 driver means that all of a sudden you become an example to a lot of young kids who are aiming to get to the same championship. So with that you have to bring a certain way of behaviour towards yourself.

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“I haven’t done it instantly because I was too late to realise that, unfortunately. In regards to what I’ve learned it’s quite clear first of all with the behaviour that you are meant to bring with yourself and second how you are meant to act on social media and off social media.”

Haas livery, 2021
Haas reveals Mazepin’s father’s company as new title sponsor for 2021
“Obviously the transition phase between Formula 2 and Formula 1 is very big,” Mazepin added. “So there’s a lot on your mind. The learning curve is very steep when you have to get into your first race. So obviously that takes the very big part of your brain capacity.”

Haas strongly criticised the emergence of the video in December, describing it as “abhorrent” at the time. Mazepin said his team has been “very helpful” towards him since then.

“I would like to say a big thank you to the team because they have been really supportive in helping him to learn through this incident,” he said.

“They’ve been very patient in taking the time and helping me learn this matter further and I think that in my education phase on the whole behaviour incident I’m way further than I have ever been. So that’s very helpful.”

The team has been inundated with complaints about their decision to keep Mazepin in their line-up for the upcoming season. He hopes he can prove he deserves a place in Formula 1.

“I’m not going to be able to put words in people’s mouths. I am pretty sure that I will be delivering on-track. I’m confident that with the effort I’m putting in and with the actions I’m taking. The results will be there and I’m going to try to have the racing do the talking.”

Asked whether he understood his actions in the video were wrong, Mazepin said: “Yes, I understand.

“I have taken the responsibility for it as I said previously, both on and off the circuit. We as human beings have to show a certain behaviour towards each other to live in a calm and, you know, ‘humanity’ world. So I’m confident that I will be one of those humans from now.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 57 comments on “Mazepin will not say whether he apologised to woman in grope video”

    1. Hm, well, what he says doesn’t really seem like taking responsibility at all to me (No, in this regards there is NO difference to being in F2 or in F1 or just a regular rich dude, or a regular poor dude at all. ).

      Good that he was questioned a lot on this by the journalists.

      1. I just read the lede and the first paragraph or two and immediately thought that this kid needs to learn how pretend to be a normal human being – nice to see him acknowledge the challenge.

      2. She was clearly into it… Not really a need to apologize to her…
        The only people blowing bthis up is the F2 media

        1. Yeah, this whole story is so ridiculous. Looks like it’s one of so many cases of fake feminism.

    2. Why was this even a thing? Let the guy and his team move on.
      And even if that isn’t acceptable to anyone, at least drop it and let the poor girl move on. Dragging it up again and again is helping nobody.
      I’m embarrassed for the actions of the media who keep blowing things out of all proportion. Shameless vultures.

      1. Just forget about it and do nothing, exactly what perpetrators want you to do.

      2. Because he clearly doesn’t believe he’s done any harm, speaking mostly in terms of public perception. Leaving such disrespect unanswered means normalizing it.

        He chose to share it with the world after all.

        1. He chose to share it months ago. Now he chooses (and/or has been told) to not focus on it, to keep some aspects of it private and move on.
          It’s better for him to drop it. It’s better for the team, and it’s better for her. Wins all round.

          1. Yeah of course it’s better for him and the team to shut it down and not talk about it! Is that now a get-out for everyone? When Ferrari got caught cheating and everyone wanted answers regarding their deal with the FIA – “it’s better for us and the FIA if you drop it and move on.”

            1. Will talking about it undo it?

        2. He didn’t share it. She did. Using his phone. Then she took it down.

          1. Mazepin himself contradicts that claim in this article.

        3. János Henkelmann
          4th March 2021, 20:00

          And how exactly would not having a 20 minute inquiry months after the actual thing happened be “leaving it unanswered”?

      3. The team failed to shut it down at the start to prevent it being dragged up again and again. You can’t really blame the media. The reaction is completely expected in this day and age. Then again, surely someone in such a public role would have slightly better sense than to upload such content in the first place…

      4. It’s a thing because we, as a society, should really ideally never accept sexual assault in any form at any time. So as to not get people asking “why are we even talking about this.”

        The lack of a response is why this is continuing to be a thing. Hopefully it will continue to be so until people stop thinking it isn’t a big deal.

        1. I agree that sexual assault, in general terms, should not be tolerated.
          However, as to individual cases – I really don’t think it’s anyone’s business but the individual people involved if they have had private contact since. I’m willing to bet she’d be happy if he never spoke her name or contacted her ever again. Especially not via the media.
          She’s suffered enough. Leave her alone, everybody. Let them all move on with their lives.

          1. If an F1 driver groped my sister/wife/mother , the last thing I would want is to drop it and move on. He has to realise that he is accountable for his actions and what he did was wrong. Which he doesn’t seem to be doing.

            1. It’s not your call.

              I see so many ‘church ladies’ who want to force others to be victims and for them to act in a specific way, without caring about their needs.

            2. János Henkelmann
              4th March 2021, 20:05

              And you are the one to decide what “being accountable” means?

              Do you know what happened behind the scenes?

              And why do I have the impression that some people will never be satisfied until the guy is fired and publicly tarred & feathered?

              You can condemn what he did and STILL decide to move on and forgive him at some point!

        2. Is it sexual assault if a man goes home and touches his wife when they’re having sexy time??

          What’s the difference?

          1. It’s troubling that anyone would need that clarified.

    3. Daddy just painted a Russian flag on an American car — and during a time when Russian athletes cannot compete under the Russian flag due to the endemic doping scandals that happened there. Considering this (and all other scandals with him), I think I might have a solid guess on whether he apologies or not to that woman.

    4. Mazepin will not say whether he apologised to woman in grope video

      So he hasn’t then.

      As if Mazepin and Haas couldn’t sink any lower…

      1. Haas should just sell the team to daddy and walk away. It allgoes away then..

    5. He gave her a few ounces. She’s happy now.

      Life goes on…

    6. lost loads of respect for HAAS since they got him to drive……….i hope Mick Schumacher will not push aside from this Daddy boy……

    7. Everyone should let it go. People love picking on Russians. Hamilton belittling his nephew for wearing a dress didn’t get 1% of the vitriol.

      1. I know you just want to dunk on Hamilton every chance you get, but in this case I’ll bite just to make sure nobody actually buys into your narrative. The incident got the same huge response initially, but then Hamilton acknowledged it, recognised on the record it was wrong to marginalize and enforce harmful stereotypes and we could move on from it, knowing Lewis acknowledged and learned something.

        Which is exactly the response we should’ve gotten from Mazepin and Haas, and that wasn’t done.

        1. It’s not really harmful encouraging a boy to wear boys clothes though is it?

          Harmful. Honestly. Harmful is hitting a child or giving them alcohol. When will this all stop?

        2. Wrong. No-one pressured Mercedes to drop Hamilton.

          1. Again, because he took appropriate action

    8. Did Kimi Raikkonen apologise to strippers when he was exposing himself and trying to touch them? How this horrible person is still driving in F1 and hired by brands like McLaren, Ferrari, Lotus or Alfa Romeo?

      1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        4th March 2021, 13:25

        Well, for starters there’s no video of that alleged incident.

        1. It doesn’t change the fact it has happened:

          “I thought I had seen most things in the lap dancing game, until I saw one of the world’s top racing drivers sprawled there with his trousers undone,” the club’s manager said. “I couldn’t believe it, Kimi’s hand was there on his crotch with his trousers undone and his body exposed.”

          “I sent away the two girls and managed to get his group downstairs. He was drunk as a skunk and didn’t care who saw what was going on,” the manager continued.

          What an absolutely abhorrent behaviour, both by the driver and FIA, FOM, McLaren, Ferrari, Lotus and Alfa Romeo, who had no problem with such a disgusting person participating in the sport! #SayNoToRaikkonen

          1. That was years ago when there was no power to go against misogyny. Your argument is of a privileged white right wing conservative man against equality. Times have changed quickly since the raikonnen incident with equality finally being an issue being acted on. If kimi did that now he would be called up on it, but i bet he wouldn’t do that now, ‘cancel culture’ is a term made up by conservative politics, it should be called corrected culture.

            1. János Henkelmann
              4th March 2021, 20:08

              “‘cancel culture’ is a term made up by conservative politics”

              And yet it obviously exists!

            2. Your comment is like from a big book of political phrases. So generic it is almost unremarkable.

            3. Thoughts on the January attacks?

    9. Unpopular opinion here, but in the original video where identities haven’t been blurred out and you can actually see what’s happening, the “victim’s” reaction was to move one hand to guard herself, while playfully flipping the bird, sticking her tongue out and putting her finger in her mouth suggestively.

      It’s not the behaviour a role model should be displaying and posting on social media as it can be and has been interpreted the wrong way, but describing it as sexual assualt or even abhorrent is a bit extreme when they were both displaying sexual / suggestive behaviour.

      I understand that everybody has to take a firm stance on this officially, but demanding that Mazepin apologises to his friend is pushing it in my opinion.

      1. Fully agree @sparkyamg. I’ll be unpopular with you.

      2. However he refused to say whether he had apologised for grabbing her breast while the pair sharing a car together.

        Is this a question? Is this a news piece or a chronicle?

      3. That sort of information needs to be forgotten so that the press can continue their agenda. Please delete your comment, its unacceptable and you should apologies /s

      4. János Henkelmann
        4th March 2021, 20:12

        We actually live in a world where people on the internet try to force someone they’ve never met in their lives to apologize to a friend of their’s for something of which nobody knows the true circumstances and will demand he has to lose his job over this. It’s insane if you think about it…

        Thanks for your comment!

      5. Stop making sense! You can’t cancel cancel culture!

    10. Very wise. If he apologised to this lady, he will have to do likewise to all the others.
      Could be time consuming.

    11. Well if you’re wondering who Joe Saward was referring to when he wrote “[Mazepin] did not seem to understand [he] might upset the delicate sensitivities of lots of social media-aged crusader types, who have obviously never made mistakes in their perfect and pure lives”, then look no further. I’m a bit disappointed that Rencken put his name on this story, but I guess age doesn’t always bring wisdom when it comes to beating a dead horse.

      1. Gotta get those clicks somehow.

        1. Yep, gossip sells.

    12. Victim says : I was the one who posted the video and we were having fun

      Crusader says : he must apologize to victim

      Passerby says: I’m going to boycut all products from the victims country.

      All those on Twitter say : We don’t care if you were having a private fun thing we hate you.

      1. Is that the victim who subsequently wrote ‘don’t let anyone touch you or disrespect you again. Protect drunk girls’.

        With the ‘I have no time for fan girls who play hard to get’ when the girl refused to send revealing pics, the gay outing and the problematic racial stuff I reckon he will gain quite a following with the political correctness gone made bunch.

        At least he hasn’t offended the vast majority by wearing a non-approved t-shirt. So that’s all good.

    13. Politically incorrect AND Russian. This guy will not have a moment’s peace. The Maldonado hate will seem like cheerful teasing compared to what will happen in the coming years. I expect weekly shame articles on all F1 sites, at least English-speaking.

      1. Maldonado hate? They were all Maldonado memes.

    14. I’m glad he was hounded by the reporters so much so they were told to move on to other questions. Surely he is now under a microscope, F1 and the team(s) will be aware of that, and while there should already be zero tolerance, he of all people cannot make one misstep or the team/F1 will have no choice but to replace him. So perhaps he will now truly police himself, and behave. Great safety measure for other women out there while he is in F1 at least.

    15. With all due respect to the arguments on both sides, this matter should be finally dropped. He’s just a stupid young boy and we all did wrong around his age. That’s not advocating nor normalizing his behaviour, the harassment is a despicable action under any circumstances, but a) not many people have a clue what’s the exact relationship between these two, and b) media are more than happy to keep the story alive and milk it for attention. They live for stories like these and the fairytales of them caring and wanting to change things is false – they’ll do anything to keep the interesting story going.

      By the way, it would be really interesting to see how would the drivers of the past stand against the test of these times. I’m sure Hunt would be the pinnacle of morals condemning even a slight hint of something physical, or also other names, Graham Hill et al… but since they are British, we would probably only get romanticized stories on complicated personalities with the right amount of benevolent taps from the army of British journos.

    16. the whole “she posted the video” to “no wait, I posted the video” switcheroo is all you need to know about how they defend against any criticism of their behaviour.

      not to mention, having seen the video of the girl uncensored, on one level it does seem like she didn’t mind it, but that is precisely how most people would react in a coercive environment. when you are going along and having fun and someone crosses the line, you don’t always shut things down and protest their actions. sometimes you don’t know how to react and go along with it so that you don’t look like a party pooper. then you go home and realise how degrading that whole episode was.

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