F1 rookie Nikita Mazepin has denied reports that he was kicked out of a nightclub after being filmed rowing with bouncers.
The 22-year-old Haas driver was enjoying a night out in Mexico City following the country’s Grand Prix this past weekend – which was won by Max Verstappen.
The Haas driver was out with future Mercedes star George Russell and Red Bull reserve driver Alex Albon, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Reports had initially claimed he was booted out of the nightclub before confronting the bouncers, with a video being uploaded to social media of the incident.
However, Mazepin has emphatically denied claims he was booted out, saying: "The situation from my side was really clear. Definitely no one was kicked out.
"I was upset because one of my engineers was leaving, so I invited everybody from the team to see me and one of the members was not let in, unfortunately.
"I cleared it up and it took about three or four minutes and then everybody was in and it was a very good party and we stayed for a few hours."
And Mazepin's spokesperson added: "He was not kicked out.
"On the contrary, he reserved a table to honour a team engineer for whom the race in Mexico was his last.
"He invited the whole team, and when they came to the entrance, they were not allowed to come in for a time.
"Nikita went to talk to the guards personally, and after that everyone was allowed into the club. So no one kicked anyone out – it was the opposite.
"Nikita stood up for the team so that everyone could enjoy the party."
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The Russian has been involved in controversies away from the track in the past, most notably when he filmed himself groping a woman's breast in the back of a car before sharing it online prior to his F1 debut.
His team slammed his actions and he soon deleted the post and apologised following the rise of social media hashtag #WeSayNoToMazepin.
He’s made some controversial moves on the race track too, and even apologised to Lewis Hamilton after he made an audacious move at the Turkish GP last month.
During the race, Mazepin was set to be overlapped by the race leaders and he soon saw the seven-time champion in his rear view.
The Mercedes driver wanted to overtake Mazepin on the inside of Turn 11, but was squeezed out of a move.
The Haas driver later revealed that he would reach out to say sorry and denied it was a calculated move.
“First of all, extremely sorry to Lewis. I’ve been complaining to the team that I can’t see anything with the mirrors, and I do need proper guidance in my ears on where the other cars are, because the spray – and Turkey isn’t exactly the cleanest spray that we have, so it flies and dries out – so I was driving blind,” Mazepin is quoted by Motorsport.com.
“When you get so many cars overtaking you lapping you actually not once, but even twice, it was just a disaster.
“I’m happy that we managed to get away, but I’ll see Lewis and I’ll apologise to him.”
During the Dutch Grand Prix in September, he came under fire for a racing manoeuvre undertaken during the Dutch Grand Prix, which appeared to be particularly dangerous.
Mazepin and Mick Schumacher were fighting one another for track position when he steered aggressively to the right, almost forcing the German – son of F1 legend Michael – into the pit wall.
Both Ralf Schumacher – brother of seven-time world champion Michael and uncle of Mick – and 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg publicly condemned the actions of the hot-headed racer.
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