Former Red Bull junior driver Juri Vips has been retained by Hitech Grand Prix after he was dropped from the Austrian team’s programme for using racist language.
Vips was gaming with fellow Red Bull junior Liam Lawson when he used an offensive word, and he was immediately suspended by the team.
The Estonian issued an apology, but this was not enough to keep him in his role, and he was dropped by the Milton Keynes outfit, leaving speculation as to whether he would be able to keep his Formula 2 seat.
Hitech boss, Oliver Oakes, previously stated that he was “shocked and appalled” by the behaviour of his driver, but now feels as though the 21-year-old should be given the opportunity to “redeem himself” and show the world that he is not a racist.
“I have made the decision for Juri to keep his F2 seat with Hitech for the remainder of the season, a decision which we have seriously debated,” said Oakes in a statement.
“Allowing him to complete his season with Hitech in an opportunity for him to demonstrate, through his actions, the type of person he is.
“I have made it clear that I think the language used was totally unacceptable, but I choose to give him a chance to redeem himself.”
Formula 2 publicly showed their disapproval of the decision, and vowed to work with Hitech to ensure that Vips’ actions are not treated lightly.
“Following the recent incident involving Juri Vips, F2 would like to reaffirm that the use of racist or discriminatory language cannot be tolerated in any environment,” they said.
“Hitech Grand Prix’s decision today is surprising and not one we would have taken.
“We will monitor the situation carefully with them to ensure that such behaviour is properly addressed.”
The Vips situation coincides with racist comments from Nelson Piquet that he made about Sir Lewis Hamilton last year, and the Brazilian has reportedly been banned from entering the paddock as a result.