On December 1st of 2020, Haas F1 team announced Nikita Mazepin as their driver for the 2021 Formula One season. Mazepin is 21 years old russian former F2 driver who finished his 2020 season 5th in the championship. Nikita is the son of Russian billionaire Dmitry Mazepin who his net worth is around $7.1 Billion USD.
Nikita is famous for his off-track altercations, recently he posted an Instagram story appearing to be touching a woman’s chest inappropriately. The video went viral on social media and triggered Formula One fans and the public, who demanded dropping Nikita for his inappropriate behavior. However, shockingly Haas F1 team issued the following statement “This matter has now been dealt with internally and no further comment shall be made.” on December 9th, 2020.
In addition, Nikita issued a statement to apologize stating the following: “apologies for my recent actions both in terms of my own inappropriate behavior and the fact that it was posted onto social media. I let myself and many people down”.
Despite Mazepin and Haas F1 Team’s statements, the public & the media continued their pressure for dropping Mazepin. Yet, Haas F1 team confirmed yesterday that they will still keep Mazepin & Schumacher as their 2021 F1 drivers line up. “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.”.
All Formula One personnel and the fans know that Haas F1 team is keeping Mazepin for the money backing that Mazepin can bring to the team. However, money shouldn’t be a clear and pure motivation to turn a blind eye to this situation and move on. Here is why Haas F1 team should drop Mazepin.
For starters, the team should think about its public image and reputation. Formula One is the pinnacle of motorsports, and it’s known for the high standards, prestige, and image. How do Haas F1 team employ a controversial driver and not expect backlash from the public? In addition to losing sponsors who will refuse to let Mazepin wear their brand name. Moreover, next season is expected to allow audience into the track. Don’t Haas F1 think that people will be demonstrating their disappointment with the team live on TV?
How will Gene Haas, Gunther Steiner, and Nikita Mazepin be able to walk into the factory and make eye contact with their female employees? And how uncomfortable will be their female employees around Mazepin? Their female employees’ feelings should be taken into consideration, you can’t just hire someone who is publicly known for harassment and not expect your employees to be comfortable around him. This first of all won’t help in creating a strong bond and chemistry between team members which will reflect terrible results on track. Thus, hurting the team even more.
This incident was an opportunity for the team to re-think their future strategy. This was an opportunity to hire an experienced Formula One driver that can help the team develop the car in the right direction. Instead of relying on two junior drivers who are competing for the first time in Formula One. One of the experienced drivers that are available at the moment is Nico Hulkenberg A.K.A “The Super Sub”. Nico’s experience can help the team tons. Also, he can nurture Mick and give him valuable advice and tips.
In brief, money is essential in Formula One especially for a team that is in a similar situation like Haas F1. However, there are certain situations where ethics must be placed first as a top priority. Mazepin’s incident is one of those situations where money shouldn’t blind a team like Haas F1 from what is right and wrong. We hope Haas F1 team can reconsider their decision before the start of the 2021 Formula One season.
This is why Haas F1 Team should drop Mazepin in our opinion. Let us know what you think about this situation in the comments below.