June 23, 2022
F1 racing team, Red Bull Racing, the defending world champion team in both categories, today announced the suspension of one of its junior drivers, Juri Vips, over a racial slur that was allegedly uttered while playing a video game online.
The incident occurred while Vips was live-streaming a game of Call Of Duty : Warzone over Twitch. Vips has since made a public apology, stating “I wish to unreservedly apologize for the offensive language used during a live gaming stream earlier today,” Vips wrote. “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.”
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Yet Red Bull Racing have rightfully chosen to suspend the young pilot while an investigation into the matter takes place. The 21-year old Estonian reserve driver currently drives for British-based Hitachi in the Formula Two series, where he is currently in seventh place. Earlier this season, Vips sat in for Red Bull Racing driver Sergio Perez during a practice session at the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Montmeló, Spain, and is a highly regarded young prospect.
Vips has also served as a test and reserve driver for Red Bull and its sister team, Alpha Tauri, since the end of 2020, as well as undertaking regular simulator work for the teams. It is also worth noting that the Red Bull team has been notoriously severe on its youth drivers throughout its existence, therefore things certainly seem to be flowing along a downward spiral for the your Estonian.
Red Bull Racing issued the following statement via its social media accounts; “Red Bull Racing has suspended junior driver Juri Vips from all team duties with immediate effect, pending a full investigation into the incident,” it said. “As an organization we condemn abuse of any kind and have a zero-tolerance policy to racist language or behavior within our organization.”
Formula One uses “we race as one” as it’s slogan and in recent years has put a lot of effort into eradicating racism from its championship. Thus, this surely won’t sit well with the global racing series.