Red Bull ends F1 reserve Vips’ contract after racial slur investigation

Red Bull Racing has terminated the contract of Formula 1 test and reserve driver Juri Vips over his use of a racial slur last week.

Juri Vips, Reserve Driver, Red Bull Racing

Vips was heard using racist language during a live stream of a video game, leading to his immediate suspension by Red Bull pending a full investigation by the team.

Ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix, Red Bull announced on Twitter that Vips’ contract had been terminated, ending his association with the team after four years.

“Following its investigation into an online incident involving Juri Vips, Oracle Red Bull Racing has terminated Juri’s contract as its test and reserve driver,” reads the statement.

“The team do not condone any form of racism.”

Vips joined Red Bull’s junior programme in 2018, and has raced in Formula 2 since 2020 alongside his commitments as its test and reserve driver.

The Estonian regularly carried out simulator work for Red Bull, and made his F1 race weekend debut at the Spanish Grand Prix earlier this year, deputising for Sergio Perez.

In the wake of the incident and his suspension, Vips issued a statement to “unreservedly apologise for the offensive language used during a live gaming stream.”

“This language is entirely unacceptable and does not portray the values and principles that I hold,” Vips wrote. “I deeply regret my actions and this is not the example I with to set. I will cooperate with the investigation fully.”

Vips has been racing with Hitech Grand Prix in F2 this year, with his next appearance scheduled for this weekend at Silverstone in support of the British Grand Prix. Hitech is yet to confirm if Vips will continue to race with the team or not.

News of Vips’ departure from Red Bull comes on the same day that a number of F1 teams have shown their support to seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who was subject to a racial slur from Nelson Piquet Sr.

Piquet’s comments led to condemnation from F1 and the FIA, while Hamilton said the “time has come for action” to combat racism.

“These archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport,” Hamilton said on Tuesday. “I’ve been surrounded by these attitudes and targeted my whole life.

“There has been plenty of time to learn. Time has come for action.”

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