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Mazepin "not proud" of groping incident

NEWS STORY
04/03/2021

As his 2021 contender is revealed sporting the name and logo of his father's company, controversial rookie, Nikita Mazepin admits he is not proud of last year's groping incident.

At a time fans should have been celebrating Haas' new livery, the American outfit was instead being bombarded on social media in much the same way as it has since late last year.

Indeed, it's a sign of the times when one of the first questions asked of a rookie driver in an open media call is about a controversial video as to his hopes for the season ahead.

This morning, speaking publicly for the first time since last year's video in which he was seen to be groping a young woman, a move described as "abhorrent" by his team and the FIA, Mazepin admitted that he was "not proud" of what happened.

"How I reflect on my actions is pretty clear," said the Russian, "I'm not proud of it.

"I didn't behave as I'm meant to behave," he admitted, "being in Formula 1 and the transition phase of realising what I have achieved has been very short, and I didn't adapt to it as I should have. I've taken responsibility for it, and I'm ready to keep doing so."

Asked about the social media backlash, which appeared to reach new heights following today's livery reveal, the Russian admitted that he was "not going to be able to put words into people's mouths".

"I am pretty sure that I will be delivering on track," he said. "I'm confident with the effort I'm putting in and the direction I'm taking, the results will be there, and I'm going to try and have the racing do the talking."

Asked how the team has reacted, he said: "They have been really supportive in helping me to learn from this incident. They've been very patient in taking the time and helping me learn from this matter further, and I think that in my education phase on the whole behaviour, I'm way further than I've ever been, so that is very helpful.

"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 into the same championship," he added. "With that, you have to bring a certain way of behaviour towards yourself. I haven't done it instantly.

"And 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."

Asked if he understood the reaction to the incident, he replied: "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 humane world."

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