Haas F1 Team principal Guenther Steiner says it’s time for detractors to quit piling on Haas recruit Nikita Mazepin.
Steiner also said it’s time for his young driver to grow up.
The 21-year-old rookie Mazepin, already a controversial figure from his days in Formula 2, drew the ire of many in the world of social media last month when video emerged of him allegedly groping a female friend. Some fans and members of the sport’s media are still calling on Haas to oust the Russian, whose wealthy father Dmitry is believed to be bringing millions of dollars to the American team.
Steiner said an investigation into the incident is complete.
“He realizes that what was done wasn’t right,” Steiner is quoted by the U.K.-based Sun newspaper. “I’m not the type of guy who kicks in the face someone who’s on their knees – that’s not right. This is a young man who needs to grow up, and for sure we have dealt with this and we will continue to deal with this.
“We are not saying that this was OK and letting him get away with it. We are educating him and will keep on educating him for his future. We need to work on it to give him the best opportunity to learn from this, concentrate on his racing and ensure he doesn’t do it anymore.”
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