Helmut Marko lashes out at ‘the English press’ for ruining young driver’s career

Juri Vips was dropped as a Red Bull Junior driver after using a racial slur.

Red Bull Racing chief advisor Dr Helmut Marko has sensationally blamed “the English press” for the sacking of Estonian driver Juri Vips, after the 21-year-old used racial slurs during a Twitch stream.

Vips was destined for a career in Formula 1, potentially as soon as 2023.

The former Red Bull Junior driver looked set for a seat at Red Bull’s sister team, Scuderia AlphaTauri, in either 2023 or 2024.

The Formula 2 driver drove for Red Bull during FP1 at the Spanish Grand Prix, with it being highly likely that he’d be used again later in the year to fill the team’s second FP1 young driver slot.

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His chances of a career in F1 now look bleak, after he was caught saying a racial slur whilst streaming popular video-game ‘Call of Duty’.

Despite releasing an official apology, Vips was dropped by Red Bull from his role as their test and reserve driver, whilst he’d also lost his position as a junior driver of the Austrian team.

The team did this to reiterate their position against any form of racism; however, Marko seemingly believes the English press made too much of the situation.

“The English press unleashed such a s***storm that Red Bull Racing had no choice but to relieve him of all his functions,” Marko said to Motorsport.com.

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“I think he’s 21 years young and has apologised.

“It annoys me that it happened in a stupid video game because they don’t have anything better to do in the afternoon. I don’t understand how you can do something like that for more than two minutes. But well, that’s youth. I can’t do anything with it.”

Marko went on to compare Vips’ video-gaming antics to reigning World Champion Max Verstappen, who is well-known for taking part in virtual races and also for being extremely good at video-game ‘FIFA’.

The Red Bull advisor revealed that the Dutchman takes his simulator everywhere, with the 25-year-old having even taken part in a virtual race straight after winning an F1 race before.

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“Max always has his simulator with him,” Marko added.

“After a grand prix victory, it can happen that he still drives a virtual race with Rudy van Buren. Then he is the second driver.

“The race engineer of the two is based in Kyiv and the data engineer in South Africa. That’s how they spend their time.”