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Red Bull suspend Jüri Vips over racist slur

1 min read
Red Bull suspend Jüri Vips over racist slur

Austrian Formula One team Red Bull Racing have announced that they have suspended their junior driver Jüri Vips after he allegedly used racist language during a live-streaming session on gaming platform Twitch.

Vips was live-streaming first-person shooter video game Call of Duty: Warzone with fellow Red Bull junior driver Liam Lawson. Following his usage of the racial slur, Lawson called out Vips by his name.

Vips joined the Red Bull programme back in 2018 and made his full Formula 2 debut in 2021 with Hitech Grand Prix. The Estonian currently races for the same team in his second season, and Red Bull have announced that they will be investigating the matter. Until the investigation is over, Red Bull have suspended Vips from all team duties and other activities related to the team as well as their junior programme.

Red Bull released a statement on the matter, which read:

Red Bull Racing has suspended junior driver Juri Vips from all team duties with immediate effect, pending a full investigation into the incident. 

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

Vips himself put out an apology statement following the incident, where 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 wish to set. I will cooperate with the investigation fully.

Vips made his Formula One debut with Red Bull in Barcelona during the ongoing season at the first practice session of the Spanish Grand Prix and is one of the highly-rated Red Bull junior drivers. Until his suspension, Vips served as an Official Test/Reserve Driver for both Red Bull and AlphaTauri.

Formula One drivers, including multiple World Champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, have both spoken out against various forms of discrimination and continue to do so. Formula One launched its own diversity programme in 2020 and also has a scholarship programme in place for students from under-represented backgrounds running until 2025.

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