Red Bull reserve Juri Vips sacked for using racist language on live gaming stream

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Red Bull reserve Juri Vips sacked for using racist language on live gaming stream - GETTY IMAGES
Red Bull reserve Juri Vips sacked for using racist language on live gaming stream - GETTY IMAGES

Red Bull reserve driver Juri Vips has been sacked by his team after an investigation into a video showed him using racist language during a live gaming stream.

The team issued a statement confirming it had terminated the 21-year-old Estonian's deal after he was heard saying the N-word during an online gaming session that he was streaming live.

Red Bull's announcement came just hours after a separate racism furore erupted in the sport over three-time world champion Nelson Piquet calling Lewis Hamilton a "neguinho".

Vips, who also competes in Formula Two and has featured during free practice one at the Spanish Grand Prix, had been stood down from all team duties pending an investigation last week.

Red Bull said on Tuesday that the probe had now finished and the team has now terminated Vip's contract as its test and reserve driver. "The team do not condone any form of racism," a statement added.

Vips became the first Estonian driver to take part in a Formula One race weekend in May when he took over from Sergio Perez in the Red Bull RB18 in the first practice session in Barcelona.

Currently in his third F2 season with the British-based Hitech GP team, he had issued a statement via his Instagram account to apologise for his "unacceptable" language.

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 co-operate with the investigation fully."

Vips joined the Red Bull Junior programme in November 2018, and as part of his role has competed in the end-of-season Young Drivers’ Test in Abu Dhabi in 2020 and been a designated reserve driver at several races for both Red Bull and sister team Alpha Tauri.

Piquet is aso facing potential sanctions if he fails to apologise to Hamilton over his separate racist outburst. As a former title winner, Piquet is allowed access throughout the season, but his privileges are now under serious threat after he twice used the derogatory Portuguese phrase "neguinho" while discussing Hamilton.

The seven-time world champion had earlier described racist attitudes he had faced throughout his time in the sport, adding that the “archaic mindset” of Piquet has “no place in our sport.

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