Following the wave of criticism Nikita Mazepin triggered earlier this month after he posted a video of him groping an Instagram model onto social media, the Russian racing driver issued an apology.
“I would like to apologise for my recent actions, both in terms of my own inappropriate behaviour, and the fact that it was posted on to social media,” Mazepin wrote in a tweet and in a post uploaded to his Instagram story.
“I am sorry for the offence I have rightly caused and to the embarrassment I have brought to Haas F1 Team. I have to hold myself to a higher standard as a Formula One driver and I acknowledge I have let myself and many people down. I promise I will learn from this,” he added.
However, it appears Nikita Mazepin has since deleted the tweet, provoking fresh outrage from F1 fans on social media and reigniting calls for the Haas F1 Team to drop him.
Some have suggested that this indicates his apology wasn’t sincere and was simply a matter of damage control, while others believe he may have deleted the tweet after the Instagram model recently reignited calls for Mazepin to be fired via a number of Instagram story posts.
For instance, earlier this week, she asked her followers what advice they would give to their younger selves, and said:
“Mine would be: don’t let anyone touch you or disrespect you again,” seemingly referencing the incident earlier this month when she was groped by Mazepin in the backseat of a car in Dubai.
Additionally, the Instagram model, Andrea D’lVal, shared a post which urged people to “protect drunk girls!”, also potentially referring to the incident as she appeared to be intoxicated when she was groped by Mazepin.
The Haas F1 Team has said it is dealing with the incident internally, with team principal Guenther Steiner recently insisting he can stay “objective” despite the team receiving a considerable amount of funding from Nikita’s father, Russian billionaire Dmitry Mazepin.