After using a racial slur during a livestream, Red Bull’s junior driver Juri Vips was suspended by the team and his F2 future is uncertain. (Image courtesy of Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited/Joe Portlock via Getty Images)
Red Bull Racing has suspended Formula 1 aspirant Juri Vips after the young driver used a racial epithet while streaming on Twitch with colleague Liam Lawson.
While playing Call of Duty: Warzone with colleague Lawson, VIPS, who is now seventh in the Formula 2 standings, made the remark.
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Lawson was taken aback when the Estonian driver, 21, yelled about something before using the slur.
Lawson had asked VIPS to put on a pink Red Bull branded cap earlier in the live, to which VIPS responded, “No, that’s gay.”
Vips was told he couldn’t say it by Lawson in response.
Social media has been flooded with videos of the incident, however Vips has now taken down the footage of the problematic feed.
Vips will be suspended until the team has more information, Red Bull Racing announced in a statement on Wednesday.
Red Bull Racing announced that junior driver Juri Vips has been suspended from all team obligations with immediate effect until an extensive investigation into the event is conducted.
The organization has a “zero-tolerance policy” for any form of racism within its walls and denounces all forms of abuse.
After some time had passed, Vips himself posted an apology on his Instagram profile.
I sincerely apologize for the harsh words used earlier today during a live gaming stream, he stated.
“This language is entirely unacceptable and does not portray the values and principles that I hold.
“I deeply regret my actions and this is not the example I want to set. I’ll give the investigation my complete cooperation.”
Vips has driven in Red Bull’s junior program since 2018, and has also conducted F1 tests as a reserve driver since 2020, as well as making his F1 debut earlier this year when he sat in for Sergio Perez during practice at the Spanish Grand Prix.
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Aussie ace Oscar Piastri set for Formula One debut in 2023
While the immediate future of Vips on the F2 grid is yet to be determined, former F2 champion Oscar Piastri looks increasingly likely to make the step up into F1.
The Australian driver, who won the F3 and F2 championships back to back in 2020 and 2021, missed out on a race seat for 2022 and has been doing regular F1 tests for Alpine.
The 21-year-old has been linked in particular to Mercedes-powered Williams, but Alpine offered him to McLaren as a possible stand-in earlier in the year.
Asked at the Canadian Grand Prix whether he thought Piastri would be racing in F1 next year, Szafnauer replied: “Yes.”
Pressed on the subject, he added: “We don’t talk about the details of our contracts with drivers.
“But when I do say yes, that’s the plan.”
Oscar Piastri will have a seat in F1 for 2023 if Alpine have their way. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images )
Ocon has a contract at Alpine until 2024 but Alonso, 40, is out of contract at the end of the year although he is performing strongly and keen on staying.
“We are contracted with Oscar, we have some options on him so there is no real need to hurry that,” said Szafnauer.
Alpine have a detailed preparation programme planned for Piastri this season and he recently tested a 2021 car at Silverstone.
Williams team principal Jost Capito said the Melbourne driver was certainly on their list.
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