Model DEFENDS Haas F1 driver Nikita Mazepin and says he ‘was not serious’ when he groped her breasts in video that provoked angry backlash online
- Nikita Mazepin, 21, provoked angry backlash oafter he posted Instagram video
- Was seen grabbing the breast of model Andrea D’Ival in back seat of a Porsche
- The driver will race for the Haas team alongside Mick Schumacher next season
- Ms D’Ival said Mazepin is a ‘really good person’ who would not ‘humiliate’ her
A model who was filmed having her breasts groped by a Russian F1 driver said he was ‘not serious’ and is a ‘really good person’.
Nikita Mazepin, 21, provoked an angry backlash online after he posted the Instagram video of himself grabbing the breast of Andrea D’Ival in the back seat of a Porsche.
Ms D’Ival appeared to push Mazepin away from her in the footage as he grabbed her chest, raising her middle finger at the camera. He captioned the video: ‘She’s the best.’
The driver, who will race for the Haas team alongside Mick Schumacher next season, posted the footage during a night out in the United Arab Emirates.
The American motor racing team condemned Mazepin’s video as ‘abhorrent’ in a statement on Wednesday but said that they would be dealing with the matter internally.
The video has since been deleted and Ms D’Ival, has downplayed it as a ‘joke,’ adding that the Russian billionaire’s son is a ‘really good person and he would never do anything to hurt or humiliate me.’
In the Instagram stories clip, Mazepin reaches and appears to touch the woman sat in the back seat in an inappropriate way
Writing on her Instagram Stories, she said: ‘Hey guys, I just wanted to let you know that Nikita and I have been friends for a long time and nothing in the video was meant seriously.
‘We trust each other and it’s just been fun between the two of us. I posted the video as a joke in his story. I’m really sorry.
‘I give my word that he is a really good person and that he would never do anything that would hurt or humiliate me.’
In a statement Mazepin’s team wrote: ‘Haas F1 Team does not condone the behaviour of Nikita Mazepin in the video recently posted on his social media.
Haas says it does not condone the behaviour of Nikita Mazepin, who will race for them next season, after he appeared to inappropriately touch a woman in the back seat of a car
Andrea D’Ival, the model who Mazepin was touching in the backseat of the Porsche, has since come to his defence, saying it was just a ‘joke’
‘Additionally, the very fact that the video was posted on social media is also abhorrent to Haas F1 Team.
‘The matter is being dealt with internally and no further comment shall be made at this time.’
Mazepin also issued a statement expressing his regret.
He said: ‘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.
‘I am sorry for the offence I have rightly caused and to the embarrassment I have brought to Haas F1 Team.
The clip shows the woman appearing to respond by raising her middle finger at the camera
‘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.’
Mazepin, the son of billionaire businessman Dmitry Mazepin, was only announced as an F1 driver for 2021 last week.
He will race alongside Formula Two champion Mick Schumacher, Michael’s son, at Haas next year.
Mazepin, seen driving in Formula 2 this year, apologised for his actions and for posting a video on his Instagram account
Mazepin has previously hit the headlines for off-track antics after he punched British driver Callum Ilott in the paddock four years ago.
The Russian, then a Force India F1 development team star, was banned from the first race of the Hungaroring Formula 3 European Championship after the steward found him guilty of ‘unsporting behaviour in the paddock after the finish of free practice two.’
Mazepin believed Ilott had cut him up in the pits and blocked him from getting a new set of tyres so he got out of his car and struck Ilott.
Ilott was said to have suffered cuts to his face, a swollen jaw and a black eye.
The pair were both teenagers at the time and 22-year-old Ilott is now racing in Formula 2 and hoping to make the step up to F1 in the coming seasons to face his old rival.