Nikita Mazepin has conceded to being 'upset' that he would likely not have involved himself with the Podarok Angelou Foundation had it not been for his infamous 2020 groping incident.
Mazepin welcomed young fan Makar into the Haas garage at the Russian Grand Prix last year after joining the board of the Podarok Angelou Foundation, a charity that works with children suffering from cerebral palsy.
As a part of his commitment, the Russian pledged to double the total raised by a fundraising push during that month.
In an interview with GPFans at the end of last year, however, Mazepin regretfully conceded he would have been unlikely to consider this partnership were it not for some "very harsh" lessons learned early in his F1 tenure.
“It certainly, in a very harsh way, enabled me and pushed me to look into areas to consider areas that I perhaps would have not focused on previously," explained Mazepin.
"Because for me racing was always about working in the team, working with people and making fast laps and ultimately getting the best set ups.
“I never looked outside of the box and the thing that I did with Makar in Sochi, I’ve recently joined the board of that charity foundation. I probably would have not looked into that because my massive priority was to get to Formula 1 and then stay here.
“I was always very worried and scared to lose the energy and think for things that can be done later. That actually the best time to act is now, as we saw this year with a lot of matters that are nothing about racing, that are actually about making the world better and everything happens for a reason.
“It still downs me that I had to learn it that way but I probably would have not met Makar like I said if it didn't happen and seeing his little smile on his face definitely says that if it had to happen like that in my life, then let's make the most out of it and make the world better and make sure that people don't learn it the way I did.”