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Nikita Mazepin: Russian F1 driver condemned for 'abhorrent' Instagram video

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Nikita Mazepin pictured driving for Force India during a Formula One pre-season testing session in Barcelona in February 2018.
Nikita Mazepin pictured driving for Force India during a Formula One pre-season testing session in Barcelona in February 2018.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Francisco Seco
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Russian Formula 1 driver Nikita Mazepin has apologised for posting an Instagram video, which appeared to show him inappropriately touching a woman.

The video, which has since been deleted, shows the 21-year-old sitting the back seat of a car and trying to touch the breast of a young woman.

Mazepin has since issued an apology on social media, both for his "inappropriate behaviour and the fact that it was posted on social networks",

"I am sorry for the offence I have rightly caused and [for] the embarrassment I have brought to Haas F1 team," he wrote.

"I have to hold myself to a higher standard as a Formula 1 driver and I acknowledge I have let myself and many people down. I promise I will learn from this."

Haas only announced last week that Mazepin would be an F1 driver for the American team in 2021.

"Haas F1 Team does not condone the behaviour of Nikita Mazepin in the video recently posted on his social media," the F1 team said in a statement.

"Additionally, the very fact that the video was posted on social media is also abhorrent to Haas F1 Team."

Haas added that the matter was being dealt with internally and no further comment would be made.

The Russian driver has previously been criticised for his aggressive behaviour on the race track and was suspended for one race in 2016 for hitting an opponent in the European F3.

Mazepin is the son of businessman Dmitry Mazepin, owner of the Russian mineral fertiliser manufacturer Uralchem, and is sponsored by the Russian company Uralkali.

The 21-year-old finished fifth in this year's Formula Two (F2) championship and had been due to race in 2021 alongside Mick Schumacher – the Formula Two champion and the son of the seven times world champion Michael.