Red Bull sack reserve driver as probe into ‘racist language’ continues

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Red Bull have sacked back-up driver Juri Vips after he admitted to using racist language while gaming on a live stream.

Vips had already been stood down from all racing duties after Red Bull Racing launched an investigation into the 21-year-old’s actions. The Estonian, who is racing in Formula Two for Hitech Grand Prix team, has now been formally dismissed by the manufacturer.

Red Bull said in a statement: "Following its investigation into an online incident involving Juri Vips, Oracle Red Bull Racing has terminated Juri's contract as its test & reserve driver. The team do not condone any form of racism."

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Vips had already issued a statement on his Instagram page to apologise for his actions. "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 wish to set. I will cooperate with the investigation fully."

While he is yet to make his debut in F1, Vips has been on the fringes of the Red Bull set-up recently. In May he became the first Estonian driver to take part in a Formula One race weekend when he took over from Sergio Perez in the first practice session at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Vips is currently competing in his third F2 season and is seventh in this year's championship with Hitech GP, for whom he was racing with Red Bull backing. His future with Hitech remains unclear for now, but theDaily Mailreports he could still race in F2 on the undercard of this weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Red Bull’s driver line-up in F1 appears to be very settled, for the next few years at least. The defending world champion – and current leader – Max Verstappen signed a new deal at the start of this year which will take him to at least 2027. Meanwhile Perez is established as the Dutchman’s partner after recently penning a contract extension until the end of 2024.

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