Juri Vips has once again been a highly spoken about topic ahead of this weekend’s French Grand Prix, after Max Verstappen and Lando Norris expressed their support for the Estonian driver.
The Formula 2 driver was recently fired by Red Bull Racing as a junior driver for the side, after using offensive language, including a racial slur, during a livestream last month.
The Hitech Grand Prix driver was streaming live on Twitch, whilst playing video games late at night.
The 21-year-old was immediately fired by Red Bull, despite having driven for the team in FP1 at the Spanish Grand Prix, and was highly regarded as having a future with the Austrian outfit.
Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko who also looks after the team’s junior programme, insisted that Vips will “no longer” be offered “any support” from the team, despite the driver sincerely apologising for what he said.
“I want to be clear – Juri Vips no longer receives any support from Red Bull,” Marko said.
“You need to be responsible for your actions and as a result, our cooperation has ended.
“Of course, words are not a reason to destroy the career of a talented athlete. Especially as he apologised. But these are global trends.”
The Estonian continues to race for Hitech GP in F2, after the team revealed that they wanted to give Vips a “second chance”, to right his wrongs on the track.
F2 themselves released a statement shortly after the incident, declaring their beliefs that Vips should’ve been dropped by Hitech GP, with the language he used having no place in the championship.
Verstappen was left surprised by F2’s statement, admitting that Vips is a “super nice guy” and “understands” what he said was wrong.
The reigning World Champion who knows Vips well, wants to see Red Bull give the young driver a second chance, so that the Estonian can show that he’s become a “better person”.
“I know Juri a bit more than the average person and he is actually a super nice guy and I think he really understood what he did wrong because he is in a very difficult moment in his career with everyone judging him – fair enough, what he said was not correct.
“I definitely think he deserves a second chance and I read the statement from F2 that they wouldn’t have done the same but he deserves a second chance to show that he learned from what he did wrong and go out there and show that he can be a better person, or at least be more educated about what you are saying.”
Norris also thinks Vips deserves a second chance; the McLaren F1 Team driver doesn’t think Vips was “purposely” trying to be discriminatory, but instead simply used the “wrong language”.
The British driver doesn’t want to see Vips’ career halted by his mistake, with Norris believing that in life “you should be able to get forgiven”.
“I think there is a difference between someone making, let’s say, a mistake and having used just wrong language and a wrong word versus and someone who is purposely trying to do it to discriminate,” Norris told FormulaRapida.net.
“People make mistakes in life. And careers, I don’t think, should just be ended because of something like that. I think you should be able to get forgiven and get opportunities other times.”