Juri Vips’ career has been thrown into huge doubt and controversy, after being caught saying a racial slur whilst streaming popular video-game Call of Duty on Twitch.
Vips’ comments have caused outrage, especially coming at a time where Sir Lewis Hamilton has once again been a victim of vile and inhumane racial abuse, this time from Nelson Piquet Sr.
The Estonian driver who was Red Bull Racing’s official test and reserve driver, was immediately dropped by the team in light of Vips comments, with the Austrian side terminating the F2 driver’s contract.
Vips recently drove for the team in FP1 at the Spanish Grand Prix, and was looking set for a great future with the side.
However, Vips’ racing career will questionably continue this weekend.
Whilst condoming Vips language, Hitech GP have announced that the 21-year-old will continue racing for the side.
It means Vips will be racing at this weekend’s British Grand Prix, as well as the rest of the 2022 F2 campaign.
Hitech GP team owner Oliver Oakes explained that he is “shocked and appalled” by his driver’s language, but said that everyone deserves a second chance.
“I have made the decision for Juri to keep his F2 seat with Hitech for the remainder of the season, a decision we have seriously debated,” Oakes said.
“Allowing him to complete his season with Hitech is 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 the chance to redeem himself.
“Hitech GP employs an inclusive work force and has never condoned racist behaviour or offensive behaviour in any forms. That said, 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?
“I don’t know why he said what he said. I don’t know why he was streaming and playing COD [Call of Duty] at that time of day. Certainly, there are things which would have been far more beneficial for his career!
“What I do know is that having his contract terminated by Red Bull as a result of his actions is a crushing experience for him, a deservedly severe punishment.
“The reality is there will not be unanimous agreement whether that punishment is sufficient, and that is totally understandable.”
Vips did immediately issue a sincere apology, however, with the paddock continuing to battle ongoing racism towards the likes of Hamilton and Naomi Schiff, F2 have announced their “surprise” at Hitech’s decision.
Formula 2 released an official statement, which read:
“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.
“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.”