Red Bull suspends F1 reserve driver Vips for using racial slur

Red Bull Racing has announced that Formula 2 driver Juri Vips has been suspended with immediate effect after using a racial slur.

Juri Vips, Reserve Driver, Red Bull Racing

Vips was heard using racist language during a live stream of a video game on Tuesday, prompting Red Bull to take immediate action.

The Formula 1 team issued a statement confirming he had been suspended from its team activities ahead of a full investigation.

“Red Bull Racing has suspended junior driver Juri Vips from all team duties with immediate effect, pending a full investigation into the incident,” the team said.

“As an organisation we condemn abuse of any kind and have a zero-tolerance policy to racist language or behaviour within our organisation.”

Vips took to Instagram to “unreservedly apologise for the offensive language used during a live gaming stream earlier today.”

“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 a member of the Red Bull junior programme since the end of 2018. He finished fourth in the following year’s FIA F3 championship before graduating to F2, where he is currently competing in his third season.

Alongside his F2 racing commitments, Vips has also served as a test and reserve driver for Red Bull and its sister team, AlphaTauri, since the end of 2020, as well as undertaking regular simulator work for the teams.

The Estonian made his F1 race weekend debut earlier this year when he took part in opening practice for the Spanish Grand Prix with Red Bull, fulfilling one of the team’s two required young driver practice appearances for the season.

Vips is next due to race for Hitech Grand Prix in the F2 round at Silverstone next weekend in support of the British Grand Prix.

Hitech team boss and founder Oliver Oakes told Autosport he was “shocked and appalled to hear about this incident”.

“The comments made by Juri are offensive and completely not reflective of Hitech’s inclusive values,” he added. “Like everyone else, I found out about this an hour ago - the video and Red Bull’s suspension with an investigation to follow.”

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