What did Juri Vips say? Red Bull suspends F2 driver over racist slur on Twitch live stream with Liam Lawson

Red Bull Racing said in a statement that the 21-year-old junior driver has been suspended from all team duties ‘with immediate effect’, pending a full investigation

Red Bull have suspended Juri Vips, their test and reserve driver, after the 21-year-old used racist and homophobic language during a live gaming stream on Twitch.

Vips, who is currently in his third F2 season, is set to be investigated by Red Bull, who he joined back in 2018.

Why has he been suspended by Red Bull?

While playing Call of Duty with other players, including fellow Red Bull junior driver Liam Lawson, live on Twitch, Vips allegedly said a racial slur.

Juri Vips of Estonia and Hitech Grand Prix (8) walks in the Paddock during previews ahead of Round 3:Imola of the Formula 2 Championship at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on April 21, 2022 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

He also reportedly used homophobic language at a different point during the stream as well.

Lawson has also faced criticism online for laughing at Vips’ language.

On Twitter, one person wrote: “Juri Vips said the n-word on stream and Liam Lawson laughed at it. Racism is so endemic in motorsport that this stuff gets brushed under the rug - it’s happened before.”

Liam Lawson of New Zealand, Reserve Driver for Scuderia AlphaTauri, looks on in the Paddock prior to practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on April 08, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

Another tweeted: “Juri Vips showed his racist underwear in a live stream and Liam Lawson laughed - the same Lawson who’s also a member of the Red Bull Junior Team. Racism is endemic in this ‘sport’.”

“Also very disappointed in Liam Lawson and whoever else was on that Twitch stream with Juri Vips for not unequivocally stating that using the n-word is not appropriate. If you can’t have conversations like that with your own friends, then you are part of the problem,” wrote another.

What has Red Bull said?

In a statement Red Bull said: “Red Bull Racing has suspended junior driver Juri Vips from all team duties with immediate effect, pending a full investigation into the incident.

“As an organisation we condemn abuse of any kind and have a zero-tolerance policy to racist language or behaviour within our organisation.”

Vips is currently racing with Hitech Grand Prix in Formula 2. It is unclear if his status with Hitech has been affected.

Has Juri Vips apologised?

Vips posted a statement to his Instagram account, stating that he wished to “unreservedly apologise” for the language that he used.

He wrote: “I wish to unreservedly apologise for the offensive language used during a live gaming stream earlier today.

“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.”

Who is Juri Vips?

Juri Vips is an Estonian driver, born on 10 August 2000 who started his career in motorsports in karting at 10 years old.

He won the Rotax Max junior championship in 2014 and by 2016, Vips had progressed from karting to single-seater racing.

Vips won the title of Italian Formula 4 rookie champion in 2016 before then going on to bag the 2017 ADAC F4 overall title the following year.

Juri Vips of Estonia and Oracle Red Bull Racing walks to the garage prior to practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on May 20, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

He then moved into F3, making his debut in the final race in the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship at Hockenheim.

Vips’ success in the 2018 F3 European Championship, in which he placed fourth overall, led to him teaming up with the Red Bull Juniors for the Macau GP at the end of the 2018 season.