Red Bull revealed in a statement: “Following its investigation into an online incident involving Jüri Vips, Oracle Red Bull Racing has terminated Jüri’s contract as its test and reserve driver.”
The Estonian joined Red Bull back in 2018 and drove for the F1 team last month during the Spanish Grand Prix.
This season, Vips was racing for Hitech Grand Prix in Formula 2 but he was suspended following the reported incident which is pending a ‘full investigation’ by Red Bull Racing.
Will the former Red Bull reserve driver still keep his Formula 2 seat?
Jüri Vips’ contract was cancelled for Red Bull’s driver programme and as their Formula 1 test and reserve drive, following offensive use of the ‘N word’ online.
However, Vips will keep his seat with Formula 2 despite being dropped by Red Bull. His Hitech team have decided to keep him so he may “demonstrate genuine and sincere remorse.”
Formula 2 said the decision was “not one we would have taken.”
Has Jüri Vips or his team responded to the reports?
Oliver Oakes, the Hitech team’s boss, said they would have “never condoned racism or offensive behaviour in any forms.”
However, he added: “If we live in a society where no one can make a mistake, then genuinely apologise, have the chance for redemption and learn from it, what does it say about society?”
Oakes described Vips’ contract being terminated by Red Bull as a “deservedly severe punishment.”
Last week, Vips formally apologised for using the slur on his Instagram, in his statement saying that his language was “entirely unacceptable and does not portray the values and principles I hold.”
Oakes’ added: “While this may not satisfy everyone, I believe we all deserve a second chance in life, but never a third.
“He needs to make lasting changes and not just short-term, virtue-signalling comments.”
Formula 1 issue their statement condemning racial slurs
This incident, coupled with other recent F1 controversies like racing driver Piquet referring to Lewis Hamilton as a “neguinho” (the Portuguese equivalent of the ‘N word’) prompted F1 to issue a statement.
It read, “Formula One, The FIA and Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team condemn this behaviour in the strongest possible terms.”