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Red Bull Racing

Red Bull suspends driver for racist comments

Red Bull junior driver Jüri Vips has been suspended from the energy drink company’s development programme with immediate effect after he allegedly made racist comments during an online game against fellow academy driver Liam Lawson.

Vips Spain
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To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Juri Vips has been suspended from Red Bull's development programme with immediate effect after allegedly making racist comments during an online game.

Vips appeared to use the phrase "bitch n***ger" on the Twitch stream, with the team reacting via a statement condemning his language.

"Red Bull Racing has suspended Junior Driver Juri Vips from all team duties with immediate effect pending a full enquiry into the incident," read the team statement.

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

Vips' response indicates that he was culpable of uttering the phrase.

"I wish to unreservedly apologise for the offensive language used during a live gaming stream earlier today," he said on social media.

"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 co-operate with the investigation fully."

The Estonian is listed as official reserve driver for Red Bull, and last month replaced Sergio Perez in the first practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix, having previously completed tests for the team in 2020 and 2021. Each team is required to run two rookie sessions this season.

Although he was 4.3 seconds off the pace in Spain, the team subsequently stated he had been instructed to not try any heroics.

Vips is entered in the Formula 2 race in Silverstone with the Hitech team, competing under Red Bull colours. Thus, his participation on the British Grand Prix support programme is in doubt. Hitech have been approached for comment.

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