Formula 2 responds to ‘surprising’ decision after racial slur

Juri Vips, Hitech Grand Prix, Formula 2 (Photo by Steve Wobser/Getty Images)
Juri Vips, Hitech Grand Prix, Formula 2 (Photo by Steve Wobser/Getty Images) /

Formula 2 responded to a “surprising” decision made by Hitech Grand Prix to retain Juri Vips for the rest of the 2022 season.

Last week, Red Bull Formula 1 test and reserve driver Juri Vips was playing Call of Duty: Warzone with Liam Lawson, another Red Bull junior driver, when he used the phrase “b**** n*****”.

Footage of the incident quickly went viral, and Red Bull immediately suspended the 21-year-old Estonian, who currently competes in Formula 2, indefinitely, announcing that they would be launching a full investigation.

Following the full investigation, Red Bull announced that they had cut ties with Vips, a decision that many expected.

Vips had just made his Formula 1 practice debut behind the wheel of the RB18 in place of Sergio Perez during Spanish Grand Prix weekend at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya back in May.

However, despite the fact that Red Bull have cut ties with Vips, Hitech Grand Prix, the team for which he competes in Formula 2, did not make the same decision.

They announced Wednesday that they plan to retain Vips and allow him the opportunity to “redeem himself” throughout the rest of the 2022 season.

Formula 2 released a separate statement, calling Hitech Grand Prix’s decision “surprising”.

While many others were also surprised at the decision and felt that Vips should have been dropped by the team, especially given how similar situations have been handled, others supported the organization’s move to allow him to redeem himself and give him a second chance, noting that he shouldn’t have his career ended over this mistake.

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Through 12 races in the 2022 season, Vips sits in seventh place in the driver standings with three podium finishes. Last season, his first full season in Formula 2 with Hitech Grand Prix, he earned six podium finishes, including two victories, in 23 races en route to a sixth place finish in the standings.