Russian F1 driver Nikita Mazepin admits he made a "huge mistake" in an incident last year in which he was filmed appearing to inappropriately touch a female passenger in the back of a car.
The 22-year-old faced a number of questions about the matter as his Haas team launched their new car and announced Mazepin's billionaire father's Uralkali company had become the new title sponsor.
The posting of the video clip on Instagram attracted widespread condemnation. In the post, which was deleted and described as 'abhorrent' by Haas at the time, the woman involved took exception to the advance and raised her finger at Mazepin.
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The Russian has been involved in controversial incidents in the past, notably punching British junior series rival Callum Ilott in the face in 2016 in an incident that drew a race suspension.
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"I have made a huge mistake", he said.
How I reflect on my actions is pretty clear. I am not happy it happened. I am not proud of it. I didn't behave as I am meant to behave as a Formula One driver and I have taken responsibility for it.
"We as human beings have to show a certain behaviour to each other to live in a calm world, and I am confident I will be one of those humans from now on.
"I am not going to be able to put words in people's mouths, but I am confident with the effort I am putting in and the actions I am taking, the results will be there so I can let the racing do the talking."
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On his father's funding, and accusations that he was only in F1 because of the money, Mazepin said he was not really bothered.
"I'm proud of my family, I'm proud of my father and I'm not taking this in a negative way," he added.
"It's a challenge that I prove myself in Formula One and I'm going to do it."
(Additional reporting by Reuters)
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