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Vips “completely accepts” Formula 2 statement on racial slur

Vips "completely accepts" Formula 2 statement on racial slur thumbnail

The Estonian driver was dropped as Red Bull’s test and reserve driver after he used a racial slur during an online gaming stream, but was kept on in F2 by the Hitech team.

The series expressed surprise after Hitech elected to retain Vips, stating that it was a “surprising” decision the championship wouldn’t have taken had it been in charge of the team.

When asked by Motorsport.com if he had a response to that statement, Vips said: “I completely accept it.

“Listen, I did a huge mistake, I offended a lot of people, and they’re completely right to say these things. I’m just very humbled and thankful to Hitech to give me a second chance.

“But now my main objective is obviously to continue with the season and give them good results, but mainly to become a better person and show everyone I’ve learned from this.”

Vips was suspended by Red Bull after the incident last month while an investigation took place.

Ahead of last weekend’s British Grand Prix, the team announced on Twitter that Vips’s contract had been terminated, ending his association with the team after four years.

But they clarified on Thursday that though his contract as test and reserve driver was cancelled due to the comments he made, “he is retained by Red Bull as part of their Junior Driver programme”.

Juri Vips, Hitech GP

Juri Vips, Hitech GP

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

“We are supporting him as he transitions away from his role with Oracle Red Bull Racing,” a statement said.

When asked why he was wearing Hitech overalls rather than the Red Bull sponsored ones he used to, he declined to comment.

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Hitech boss Oliver Oakes said that while the outfit “debated” whether it should retain Vips in F2, it felt that it should offer the 21-year-old a chance to redeem himself.

“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. Allowing him to complete his season with Hitech is an opportunity for him to demonstrate, through his actions, the type of person he is,” said Oakes.

“I have made it clear that I think the language used was totally unacceptable, but I choose to give him the chance to redeem himself.”

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