Junior Formula 1 driver Jüri Vips has been suspended by his team Red Bull Racing after he was found to have used a racial slur while he was playing a video game on a Twitch livestream (via Dexerto).
The 21-year-old from Estonia is a reserve driver for the 2022 season with Red Bull and is next in line after 2021 world champion Max Verstappen and his teammate Sergio Perez. Having driven in practice sessions for the team and touted as a star in waiting, his future is now in doubt.
Vips was suspended after he was heard using the N-word while playing Warzone with fellow Red Bull junior Liam Lawson who was streaming on Twitch. Not long after this came to light, Red Bull Racing was quick to take action and put out the following statement: "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".
An additional clip shows Juri calling a Red Bull hat "gay" on livestream as he was invited to wear the hat which is pink coloured. "Juri, you can't say that", the livestreamer says to him, after which Juri responds: "Yeah, well I did". Both these incidents have been captured and posted on to Twitter here and here.
Vips posted a statement to his Instagram feed yesterday, apologising for what he said. His statement reads: "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.”
His teammate Lawson has not commented on the incident publicly. No timeframe has been provided yet by Red Bull Racing for the investigation.
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