#WeSayNoToMazepin: Now 41 000+ fans sign petition for Nikita to be dropped from Haas F1 team

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Nikita Mazepin
Nikita Mazepin
Nikita Mazepin

• Nikita Mazepin is in hot water after his disreputable behaviour.

• Mazepin will race for the Haas team in 2021, but fans want him removed.

The 20-year old is backed by his billionaire father, Dmitry.

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Nikita Mazepin is in plenty of hot water following the groping incident earlier this month. The 2021 Haas Formula 1 driver uploaded a video onto his Instagram account where he reaches from the passenger seat of a vehicle to grope a woman in the rear of the vehicle before deleting it from his profile.

However, the clip was up just long enough for several users to download it and share on social media. The Haas F1 team has since labelled Mazepin's actions as 'abhorrent', but stated that they would deal with the matter internally.

Haas' seeming inability to address Mazepin's public act publicly has left many fans angry and disappointed, so much so that a petition has been drawn up to prevent the driver from making his F1 debut next year. At the time of writing this article, more than 35 000 signatures were added to the petition, closing in on the 50 000 target. By Friday night (18 Dec), more than 41 000 signatures had been added in total.

SEE: Petition to remove Nikita Mazepin From Formula 1

Nikita Mazepin,haas,f1,formula 1
Nikita Mazepin (right) and his father, Dmitry.

The abhorrent behaviour

In recent years, the FIA, motorsport's governing body, and F1 went to a lot of trouble in ensuring that men and women have equal opportunity and a chance at a career in motorsport. And while we are not yet where we need to be, the bridge is closing and are we seeing more women taking up seats in various motorsport codes.

Mazepin's actions stand in contrast to the values the FIA and F1 are instilling and brings the sport in disrepute. Should no action be taken against him, it will set a precedent the sport will struggle to come back from.

READ: Haas-bound Nikita Mazepin apologises after posting groping video on Instagram

Sadly, the situation runs far deeper than we might think, because Mazepin's father has, allegedly, already invested in Haas even before his son takes to the track for the team. According to GrandPrix247, Dmitry Mazepin "injected $20-million into the American team for next year, with options for the same amount in 2022". The Haas F1 team is in dire financial straits, so much so that the team seriously considered exiting the sport at the end of the 2020 season. However, an agreed-upon sliding scale budget cap for all teams convinced Gene Haas, team owner, to remain in F1.

Regardless, no amount of money can excuse Nikita Mazepin's actions, but his father's deep pockets will probably see that his actions are excused.

But Mazepin's behaviour does not only resort to his blatant disrespect towards women. In the final race of the F2 season, the Russian driver was handed two five-second time penalties following the race in Sakhir, costing him his podium position, according to the FIA. The first five-second penalty came after the Hitech Grand Prix driver was found to have forced Yuki Tsunoda off track and into the pit lane exit during a battle between the pair.

Keith Collantine wrote in a RaceFans.net article on 5 December: "Mazepin's four penalty points puts him on a total of eleven, which leaves him one away from 12 which would trigger an automatic one-event ban." 

Mazepin was involved in four incidents of which only two were investigated and penalised all in just one race at the Sakhi event.

Other on-track antics includes the 2019 incident when the FIA judged Mazepin "wholly at fault" for the Sochi Formula 2 crash that hospitalised himself and Nobuharu Matsushita, and awarded Mazepin large penalties for the next race.

Below are some of the tweets that went out against Nikita Mazepin.

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