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BREAKING: Haas stand by Mazepin as Russian confirmed for 2021

BREAKING: Haas stand by Mazepin as Russian confirmed for 2021

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BREAKING: Haas stand by Mazepin as Russian confirmed for 2021

BREAKING: Haas stand by Mazepin as Russian confirmed for 2021

Haas has decided not to axe Nikita Mazepin despite the widespread condemnation of the Russian's actions in a video he posted to his Instagram account.

Earlier this month, Mazepin posted the clip in which he was seen groping a woman's breast. The woman reacted by showing her middle finger to the camera before covering the lens.

Although the video was swiftly deleted, Mazepin apologised and the woman vouched for him as a close friend and that their conduct was just fooling around, it still drew considerable criticism.

Haas immediately confirmed it would deal with the matter internally once the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi had concluded, and the team has decided to stand by the 21-year-old.

Following the conclusion to that investigation, in a statement, the team said: "Haas F1 Team would like to reaffirm that Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher will form its driver lineup for the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

"As per the team’s previous statement regarding the actions of Nikita Mazepin (December 9) – this matter has now been dealt with internally and no further comment shall be made."

Although Haas had claimed in its earlier statement the video was "abhorrent", it has shied away from sacking him.

Critics will now point to the fact the team has too much to lose financially in dispensing with Mazepin given the funding provided by his billionaire father Dmitry.

The decision also serves as a slap in the face to Formula 1 and the FIA in a year when it has promoted equality and diversity across the sport via its 'We Race As One' initiative.

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