Haas Formula 1 driver Nikita Mazepin wants his “racing to do the talking” as he looks to put the controversy surrounding his name behind him.

The Russian made the headlines for the wrong reasons ahead of his rookie F1 season with Haas after a video was uploaded to Mazepin’s Instagram account late last year which showed him groping a woman’s chest in the back of a car.

Haas condemned the video as “abhorrent” and Mazepin issued a public apology but retained his drive with the American team amid a private investigation into his actions.

Speaking to media for the first time since the controversial video emerged, Mazepin admitted he is “not proud” of his behaviour and insisted he has learned from it.

"How I reflect on my actions is pretty clear, I'm not happy that it happened and not proud of it," he said.

"I didn't behave as I'm meant to behave in Formula 1 and the transition phase of realising what I have achieved has been very short, and I didn't adapt to it as quickly as I should have had.

“But I've taken responsibility for it, and I'm ready to keep doing it because I’d like to be very strong in my position and certain.”

He added: “I have made a huge mistake and I have learned from it. I am looking forward to a clean year ahead.”

Mazepin said Haas had been “very helpful” and supportive throughout his “education phase” and strive to learn from the incident.

“First of all, I would like to say a big thank you to the team because they have been really supportive in helping me to learn through this incident,” he explained.

“They have been very patient in taking the time and helping me learn this matter further and I think that it in my education phase on the whole behaviour incident, I am way further than I have ever been, so that’s very helpful.”

And the 22-year-old is now determined to put the matter behind him by delivering results in F1 that he hopes will help rebuild his reputation.

"In regards to the image it has created, I am not going to be able to put words in people’s mouths,” Mazepin said.

“But I am pretty sure that I will be delivering on track and I am confident that with the direction I am taking the results will be there. I am going to try to have the racing do the talking.”

 

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