A former F1 driver has said he feels sorry for modern-day racing drivers as they are under much more scrutiny from the media and public opinion than previous generations.
Speaking to Formula1News.co.uk, Marc Surer, who raced in Formula One with the likes of Arrows and Brabham, said he believes the Haas F1 Team did “the right thing” with regards to how they handled the controversy Nikita Mazepin sparked last month.
“I feel sorry for the drivers today,” Surer told this publication.
“If I think about what we did in our time when we, for example, met in some dark clubs in Rio and it was a question of honour not to talk about it… Obviously these times are gone.
“The only stupid thing Mazepin did was to put it [the video of him groping the model] on social media, this was a mistake. But when you are young, you make mistakes and also you want to have fun.
“So I think Haas did exactly the right thing to say ‘don’t do it again and we won’t talk about it anymore,’” the Swiss former racing driver added.
Why Is Nikita Mazepin Under Fire?
Nikita Mazepin sparked outrage last month after he posted a video him groping a model’s breasts onto his Instagram story.
The Russian racing driver quickly deleted the post and issued an apology, while the Haas F1 Team condemned the “abhorrent” incident and said it would handle the matter internally.
Nikita, the son of Russian billionaire Dmitry Mazepin, later deleted the apology he posted on Twitter, before all of his tweets mysteriously vanished a few days later.
On 23 December, Haas confirmed that Nikita Mazepin will still be racing with the team in Formula One in 2021 despite the incident.
This prompted a fresh barrage of criticism and outrage from F1 fans on social media – and a petition calling for Nikita Mazepin to lose his seat on the grid has so far been signed by over 45,000 people.
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