Formula 1: Red Bull driver suspended for using racial slur

Juri Vips, Red Bull, Formula 1 (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)
Juri Vips, Red Bull, Formula 1 (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images) /

Red Bull Formula 1 test and reserve driver Juri Vips has been suspended indefinitely after using a racial slur while playing a video game.

A huge mistake made earlier this week by Red Bull Formula 1 reserve driver Juri Vips while playing Call of Duty: Warzone with Liam Lawson, another Red Bull junior driver who also currently competes in Formula 2, has already proven to have huge career ramifications.

While the game was being streamed live on Twitch, the 21-year-old Estonian used a curse word and followed it up with a racial slur.

Red Bull issued the following statement, suspending Vips indefinitely with immediate effect and noting that they plan to conduct a full investigation into the incident.

In a separate post which he shared to his Instagram account, Vips stated the following.

"“i wish to unreservedly apologize 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 wish to set. i will cooperate with the investigation fully. Juri”"

Former Formula 2 driver Juan Manuel Correa commented on the post.

"“We all make mistakes and unfortunately some are costlier than others. We, who know the type of person you are, know you did not mean this in the way it comes across. Life is about learning and growing, take this as an opportunity to do that and keep your head up”"

With two wins in 21 races, Vips won the 2017 ADAC Formula 4 Championship driving for Prema Powerteam. He finished in fourth place in the 2018 Formula 3 European Championship with four wins in 30 races for Motopark, and he finished in fourth in the 2019 Formula 3 Championship with three wins in 16 races for Hitech Grand Prix.

He made his Formula 2 debut in 2020 with DAMS and competed in eight races, recording one podium finish. He finished in 16th place in the standings despite not being a full-time driver.

Vips competed full-time in Formula 2 for the first time in 2021 with Hitech Grand Prix and won twice in 23 races en route to a sixth place finish in the standings. Through 12 races in 2022, he sits in seventh in the standings with three podium finishes.

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Last month at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, Vips made his Formula 1 practice debut (pictured) in place of Sergio Perez, driving the RB18 in the opening practice session of the weekend.