Red Bull has suspended its junior driver Juri Vips for using a racial slur during an online video gaming session.
Vips – who drove for Red Bull in FP1 at the Spanish Grand Prix – was heard using the slur while playing a video game alongside fellow Red Bull junior Liam Lawson that was being streamed on Twitch. Following the incident, Red Bull issued a statement announcing the Estonian driver had been suspended as it looks into the matter.
“Red Bull Racing has suspended junior driver Juri Vips from all team duties with immediate effect, pending a full investigation into the incident,” the statement read.
“As an organization we condemn abuse of any kind and have a zero-tolerance policy to racist language or behavior within our organization.”
The 21-year-old is racing in Formula 2 for Hitech this season and is currently seventh in the drivers’ championship after crashing out of the lead in the closing stages of the feature race in Baku. Vips took to Instagram after Red Bull’s announcement to apologize, saying his use of the racist term is not a reflection of his views.
“I wish to unreservedly apologize for the offensive language used during a live gaming stream earlier today,” Vips wrote. “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.”