Red Bull drop test driver Juri Vips over racist language

Red Bull has dropped test and junior driver Juri Vips after he used racist language during a live gaming stream.

The current constructors leaders had stood down the 21-year-old from team duties last week with an investigation surrounding the Estonian and the incident set to take place.

Now – on the same day three-time world champion Nelson Piquet was condemned for using a racial slur to describe Lewis Hamilton – Red Bull have acted and dropped Vips as test and reserve driver.

“Following its investigation into an online incident involving Juri Vips, Oracle Red Bull Racing has terminated Juri’s contract as its test & reserve driver,” the team said in a statement on Twitter.

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

Vips, currently in his third F2 season, took to his Instagram account last week to apologise for his “unacceptable” language.

He said: “I wish 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.

“I deeply regret my actions and this is not the example I with to set. I will co-operate with the investigation fully.”

Vips became the first Estonian driver to take part in a Formula 1 race weekend in May when he took over from Sergio Perez in the Red Bull RB18 in the first practice session at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Red Bull’s statement comes on the same day three-time world champion Piquet – who is the father of Max Verstappen’s girlfriend Kelly Piquet – was criticised by senior bodies across motorsport after racist language he used resurfaced.

Piquet, 69, twice used racist language in an interview last November when describing Hamilton as he gave his verdict on the Mercedes star’s crash with Verstappen during last year’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Hamilton responded saying it was time for these “archaic mindsets” to change – and added that he has been targeted “by these attitudes my whole life”.

“It’s more than language,” he wrote. “These archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport. 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.” In an earlier tweet, Hamilton wrote in Spanish: “Let’s focus on changing the mindset.”

It is understood that Piquet’s access to the paddock at F1 races could be revoked if he doesn’t issue a public apology to Hamilton, as reported by PA.

Hamilton, F1’s first black driver, and British-born Thai Alexander Albon are F1’s only two drivers from ethnic minority backgrounds.


Douglas Mateo

Douglas holds a position as a content writer at Neptune Pine. His academic qualifications in journalism and home science have offered her a wide base from which to line various topics. He has a proficiency in scripting articles related to the Health industry, including new findings, disease-related, or epidemic-related news. Apart from this, Douglas writes an independent blog and assists people in living healthy life.