The Haas F1 Team has reacted to a now-deleted video posted on Instagram by its 2021 driver Nikita Mazepin.
The Russian driver who will step up to F1 next season with Haas and race alongside fellow recruit Mick Schumacher has landed himself in a bit of hot water with his new team.
Earlier this week, Mazepin posted to his Instagram Stories a video in which he is filming himself in the passenger seat of a Porsche, traveling in the UAE, before he reaches back and inappropriately touches a young woman seated in the back whose dress had apparently accidently slid off.
The video, which Mazepin eventually deleted, immediately sparked a wave of comments on social media, and Haas has condemned the young Russian's behaviour.
"Haas F1 Team does not condone the behaviour of Nikita Mazepin in the video recently posted on his social media," read a statement from the team.
"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 followed up Haas' statement with an apology, insisting his behaviour had been "inappropriate".
"I would like to apologise for my recent actions both in terms of my own inappropriate behaviour and the fact that it was posted onto social media," Mazepin said.
"I am sorry for the offense I have rightly caused and to the embarrassment I have brought to Haas F1 Team.
"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."
After Haas and Mazepin published their respective statements, the young woman featured in the footage - one Andrea D’lval - also chimed in on the matter, to give her side of the story and defend Mazepin.
"Is just want to let you know, Nikita and I have been good friends fro a long time and nothing from that video was serious at all!" she said.
"We trust each other so much and this was a silly way of joking between us.
"I posted this video on his story as an internal joke? I am truly sorry. I can give you my word he's really a good person and he would never do anything to hurt me or humiliate."