To begin February, Will Buxton took a brave stance and uploaded a video to his YouTube channel about his thoughts on the controversy around newly promoted Nikita Mazepin in his ‘Your questions answered’ series.
Written By Harvey Carter, Edited By Ryan Lack
In case you are unfamiliar with the situation here is a brief summarization. Back in December 2020, Mazepin uploaded a video to his Instagram story of him groping a woman, the video was deleted almost immediately and Mazepin soon put an apology up, however, this was also deleted. Whilst doing so Haas also stated that they do “not condone the behaviour of Nikita Mazepin in the video recently posted on his social media”. After this, the internet collectively gave their outrage, in particular making the hashtag #wesaynotomazepin, that can be found on all social media that has anything to do with f1.
During the video Will talks about when he interviewed Mazepin and asked what type of driver was expected of him, where he replied about pushing the limits as far as possible. With this Will states that he overstepped the mark. Evidence of this would be the large number of penalty points he gained in F2 and his actions off the track.
After, Buxton talks about the benefit of a backmarker, like Haas, to have Mazepin on the team as he brings in large funding to help develop the car. And that “anyone who genuinely believed that Nakita Mazepin would find himself without a seat in 2021 were being somewhat naive’’ helps prove that money is everything in this sport.
One of the biggest problems within this issue is the silence about it from Haas and Mazepin, Will talks about the fanbases biggest fear, that the issue isn’t being dealt with, instead it’s being pushed out of the spotlight and trying to forget it ever happened, and “undermining the seriousness of this incidents”.
Within 2020 ‘We race as one’ became a large subject in the F1 paddock and with the silence of the controversy, Will believes people will be let down by this as it goes against the movement for a better sport especially for the women of the sport.
To wrap up his video Will talks about the modern age and that if mistakes are made but there is an improvement afterwards then in a world like ours today people should accept it and move on, however, with Nikita no change is visible and that Nikita has said that he isn’t bothered by the criticism and that, in turn, he doesn’t care, giving adequate reasoning for what he and Haas are receiving.