Red Bull Racing Terminates Juri Vips After Racial Slur Incident
Vips was initially suspended pending investigation into the incident which occurred last week.
Red Bull Racing junior driver Juri Vips has had his contract terminated by the Formula 1 team following an investigation into his use of a racial slur in a video game stream.
The incident occurred last week, when Vips participated in a video game stream online with fellow F2 driver Liam Lawson. During play, Vips referred to another player by the N-word in a clip that was later shared widely on Twitter. It was one of several moments in which Vips drew a shocked response from Lawson on the stream. In the immediate aftermath, Red Bull announced Vips would be suspended pending an investigation into the incident.
On Tuesday, Red Bull Racing released a statement that Vips would be terminated following the results of the team's investigation. The young driver will thus no longer serve as test reserve driver for the team. The post closes by noting the team's stance on the issue, stating "The team do not condone any form of racism."
Vips served as a test and reserve driver for Red Bull, first joining the team back in 2018. The 21-year-old most recently drove for Red Bull last month in FP1 at the Spanish Grand Prix, and carried out simulator work for the team off the track.
Outside of his role with Red Bull, Vips also competes in Formula 2 with the Hitech Grand Prix team. Last week, team owner Oliver Oakes noted he was "shocked and appalled" when he heard about the incident. The team has not confirmed whether Vips will continue to compete ahead of this weekend's race at Silverstone. The Drive has reached out to Hitech for comment on Vips's current status with the team.
Vips made an apology for the incident last week, posting a short message to Instagram. Vips stated that "This language is entirely unacceptable and does not portray the values and principles that I hold," adding his intention to cooperate with the investigation into his actions.
The incident comes amid much discussion about racism in motorsports. Recent years have seen everything from former F1 champions dropping slurs to the media and drivers doing the same online. These incidents put a stain on what should be a sport that brings everybody together in the spirit of competition. Those eager to focus on what matters in motorsport will be buoyed by teams stamping out such behavior wherever it occurs.
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