Nikita Mazepin did himself no favours when he posted a video of him groping an Instagram model onto social media earlier this month.
But, although the Haas F1 Team were quick to condemn the “abhorrent” incident, it seems the Russian racing driver will escape relatively unscathed.
Discussing the incident, Dutch journalist Louis Dekker has said he believes the American racing outfit simply cannot drop Mazepin – despite a petition urging them to do so receiving over 30,000 signatures – as they would be bankrupt without his father’s investment.
“Without Mazepin, I’m afraid Haas is bankrupt. The team brought him in purely for the money,” Dekker said.
Nikita Mazepin’s father, Russian billionaire Dmitry Mazepin, is believed to be paying the Haas F1 Team around $20 million per year as part of the multi-year contract his son signed with them earlier this month.
Meanwhile, ex-F1 driver Jan Lammers said people with the sort of wealth of the Mazepin family can usually get away with stuff like this, as they have “f*** you money.”
“People who are so rich are also called people with f*** you money. They can do whatever they want.
“This behaviour is, of course, reprehensible. He has overdue maintenance in parenting. His behaviour does not fit into the world of Formula 1.
“He’s very controversial at the moment,” he added.