Team Haas leader defends Nikita Mazepin following Jeremy Clarkson comments
It comes after Jeremy Clarkson's recent Twitter rant
The chief of the Formula One team Haas, Guenther Steiner, has defended his driver Nikita Mazepin in response to Jeremy Clarkson's aggressive rant.
Mazepin's future is in doubt ahead of the upcoming F1 season, with members of the FIA meeting on Tuesday to decide whether the Russian driver should be banned from competing.
The 22-year-old's father is a Russian billionaire oligarch who has close ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin, and he has come under criticism for his recent comments in response the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
Mazepin's comments came in the wake of the cancellation of the Russian Grand Prix in which he hoped that the race in Sochi would still be able to go ahead, before later adding that 'he had always been a fan of sports without politics.'
The interview prompted an angry response from the former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson who tweeted: "Nikita Mazepin. You f****** r*****. Go and race in Russia on your own. You'd still lose."
But Steiner, the team principal for Haas, quickly defended his driver, insisting that Mazepin has "nothing to do with" his country's invasion of Ukraine.
He said: "I heard about the tweet from Jeremy Clarkson about it. Maybe it was done in a moment of rage or something because it was quite direct.
"The best thing is to not look at what is there because at the moment, he has nothing to do with this.
"We just need to crack on and see where this ends up and work through it. Hopefully, he [Mazepin] can keep his head up and keep on going."