Red Bull suspend junior driver over racist language

Red Bull has suspended Formula 2 driver Juri Vips after he used racist language during a live gaming stream.

The reigning world champions have stood down the 21-year-old from team duties with an investigation surrounding the Estonian and the incident on Tuesday set to take place.

“Red Bull Racing has suspended junior driver Juri Vips from all team duties with immediate effect, pending a full investigation into the incident,” read a statement on Red Bull Racing’s official Twitter account.

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

Vips, currently in his third F2 season, took to his Instagram account 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.

Lewis Hamilton is leading F1’s attempts to increase diversity and inclusion in recent years, with the seven-time world champion joining the four-time champion Sebastian Vettel in declaring they will speak out on important issues after the new president of F1’s governing body the FIA, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, questioned if drivers should publicise their views on such issues.

F1 launched its own campaign to promote diversity in 2020 with an additional programme running through 2025 to support students from under-represented backgrounds through university.

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

Douglas Mateo

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