Formula 1 hopeful suspended by Red Bull over livestream slur

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·Sports Reporter
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Red Bull junior driver Juri Vips has been suspended by the team and his F2 future is unclear after he used a racial slur during a livestream. (Photo by Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)
Red Bull junior driver Juri Vips has been suspended by the team and his F2 future is unclear after he used a racial slur during a livestream. (Photo by Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

Formula 1 hopeful Juri Vips has been suspended by Red Bull Racing, after the junior driver made a racial slur while streaming on Twitch with teammate Liam Lawson.

Vips, who currently sits 7th in the Formula 2 championship, was streaming Call of Duty: Warzone with teammate Lawson when he uttered the slur.

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The 21-year-old Estonian driver exclaimed at something then said the slur, with Lawson caught off-guard.

Earlier in the stream Lawson had prompted Vips to put on a pink Red Bull branded cap, to which Vips replied, 'No, that's gay'.

Lawson responded by telling Vips he couldn't say that.

Clips of the moment have surfaced on social media, but Vips has since deleted the recording of the stream in question.

Red Bull Racing published a statement on Wednesday, saying Vips would be suspended until the team learned more information.

“Red Bull Racing has suspended junior driver Juri Vips from all team duties with immediate effect, pending a full investigation into the incident,” the 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 himself took to his Instagram page some time later to issue an apology of his own.

"I wish to unreservedly apologise for the offensive language used during a live gaming stream earlier today," he 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 want to set. I will co-operate with the investigation fully."

Vips has driven in Red Bull's junior program since 2018, and has also conducted F1 tests as a reserve driver since 2020, as well as making his F1 debut earlier this year when he sat in for Sergio Perez during practice at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Aussie ace Oscar Piastri set for Formula One debut in 2023

While the immediate future of Vips on the F2 grid is yet to be determined, former F2 champion Oscar Piastri looks increasingly likely to make the step up into F1.

The Australian driver, who won the F3 and F2 championships back to back in 2020 and 2021, missed out on a race seat for 2022 and has been doing regular F1 tests for Alpine.

The 21-year-old has been linked in particular to Mercedes-powered Williams, but Alpine offered him to McLaren as a possible stand-in earlier in the year.

Asked at the Canadian Grand Prix whether he thought Piastri would be racing in F1 next year, Szafnauer replied: "Yes."

Pressed on the subject, he added: "We don't talk about the details of our contracts with drivers.

"But when I do say yes, that's the plan."

Oscar Piastri will have a seat in F1 for 2023 if Alpine have their way. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Oscar Piastri will have a seat in F1 for 2023 if Alpine have their way. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Ocon has a contract at Alpine until 2024 but Alonso, 40, is out of contract at the end of the year although he is performing strongly and keen on staying.

"We are contracted with Oscar, we have some options on him so there is no real need to hurry that," said Szafnauer.

Alpine have a detailed preparation programme planned for Piastri this season and he recently tested a 2021 car at Silverstone.

Williams team principal Jost Capito said the Melbourne driver was certainly on their list.

With AAP

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