Horner suggests Red Bull could re-sign disgraced driver after controversial decision

Juri Vips and Nelson Piquet have both been in the headlines for racist language recently in a turbulent period for Formula 1.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has indicated that Juri Vips might be able to work his way back into the Red Bull team if he can prove that he has learned from his mistake.

Following the use of a racial slur on a livestream, Vips was suspended by Red Bull, with the Estonian taking to social media to apologise his actions.

His behaviour was condemned by his Formula 2 Hitech team principal Oliver Oakes, but he decided to give the 21-year-old a shot at redemption by keeping him in his drive for the remainder of 2022.

“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,” he said.

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“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 disagreed with that decision, affirming that they would “monitor” the situation with Vips as he seeks to restore his image.

It was confirmed recently that, while Vips has now been dropped as Red Bull’s test and reserve driver, he has not been altogether ejected from their system.

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He remains part of the junior programme, and Horner affirms that it is possible that he may still be a part of the Red Bull team as long as he demonstrates his repent for using the racist term.

“We have cancelled our agreement with him [Vips] and that will undoubtedly give him time for reflection,” he said.

READ: Formula 2 team makes surprising decision amid Vips racism saga

“Everybody at some point deserves a second chance, if they can show that they have really learnt from their mistakes.”

As contemptible as Vips’ behaviour was, the 48-year-old does not believe it would be fair to permanently punish him for the rest of his career for making a silly mistake.

“He is a young guy, a young kid, and we will be supporting him – even though he has had his agreement terminated – from a mental health and educational perspective,” explained Horner.

“Hopefully he will learn from it.”

Vips finished sixth in the F2 feature race at the British Grand Prix last weekend in the his first weekend since he was dropped by Red Bull.