Spanish sportscar driver Daniel Juncadella has criticised Formula 2 for their reaction to Hitech’s decision to keep Juri Vips for the rest of the season.
Vips was streaming live on Twitch when he blurted out a racist remark having used homophobic language while refusing to wear a pink hat.
The Estonian was suspended and eventually dropped by Red Bull – for whom he served as a junior driver – after issuing an apology for his actions.
“I wish to unreservedly apologise for the offensive language used during a live gaming stream earlier today,” he posted on Instagram.
“This language is entirely unacceptable and does not portray the values and principles that I hold.
“I deeply regret my actions and this is not the example I wish to set. I will cooperate with the investigation fully.”
Having been dropped by Red Bull, Vips was retained by Hitech, whose team boss Oliver Oakes believes the 21-year-old deserves the chance to restore his reputation.
“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,” he said 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.”
F2 publicly criticised the decision to keep Vips involved, asserting that such behaviour should not be welcome in the paddock, or indeed anywhere.
“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.”
Juncadella, who races in IMSA and the ADAC GT masters, took issue with F2’s statement, stating his opinion that everybody should be given the opportunity to redeem themselves.
“Right, you would have rather fired him, beaten him, buried him to the ground,” said the Spaniard.
“Honestly this is getting to the point where I feel we, as fellow racing drivers, should voice our concern.
“The guy has paid and will keep paying for his terrible mistake, but deserves a 2nd chance!”
Nelson Piquet has had his paddock pass revoked by Formula 1 for racially abusing Sir Lewis Hamilton last year, while the British Racing Driver’ Club (BRDC) are set to terminate the Brazilian’s honorary membership.