Formula 1 and the FIA have issued a joint-statement supporting Haas in its response to Nikita Mazepin’s “inappropriate” behaviour in a video posted on social media earlier this week.

A video emerged on Wednesday that was briefly uploaded to Mazpin’s Instagram account which showed him groping a woman’s breast in the back of a car. The video was quickly deleted from the account but resurfaced when it was widely shared on Twitter.

It prompted Haas to release a statement that described its new 2021 signing’s behaviour and the video's publication on social media as “abhorrent”, adding it would deal with the matter internally.

Mazepin subsequently issued an apology, while the woman tagged in the video insisted in a separate statement on social media that she posted the video to Mazepin’s account as “an internal joke” as she moved to defend the Russian’s actions.

Ahead of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit on Thursday, F1 and governing body the FIA said in a statement: “We strongly support the Haas F1 Team in its response to the recent inappropriate actions of its driver, Nikita Mazepin.

“Mazepin has issued a public apology for his poor conduct and this matter will continue to be dealt with internally by the Haas F1 Team. The ethical principles and diverse and inclusive culture of our sport are of the utmost importance to the FIA and Formula 1.”

Mazepin finished fifth in the 2020 Formula 2 championship and will graduate to F1 next year alongside F2 champion Mick Schumacher having been signed up by the American team for 2021.