Formula 2 racing driver Juri Vips has been suspended by Red Bull Racing after dropping a racial slur during a Call of Duty: Warzone livestream on Twitch.
While streaming with fellow Red Bull junior team member, Liam Lawson (pictured below), Vips dropped the n-word in the midst of a heated in-game moment, causing Lawson to react with an incredulous laugh.
Prior to this moment, Vips provoked another reaction by refusing to wear a pink Red Bull cap on stream, calling it ‘gay’. “Juri, you can’t say that,” Lawson said in reply.
It wasn’t just Twitch and his teammate who found Vips’ statements problematic, however. Soon after the incident, Red Bull Racing tweeted a statement confirming their condemnation of their driver’s behavior, confirming that a ‘full investigation’ was under effect.
Vips followed suit with an ‘unreserved’ apology on Instagram.
Vips currently drives for British team Hitech Grand Prix in the FIA Formula 2 championship, where he currently stands 7th, behind fellow Red Bull Junior Jehan Daruvala, who recently had his first taste of a Formula 1 car. Vips already serves as a reserve driver for Red Bull’s Formula 1 team, where he recently ran a few Free Practice rounds in Sergio Perez’ spot.
In 2020, Nascar Cup driver Kyle Larson was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing (and lost multiple sponsors) for using the same slur during an iRacing stream, although he ended up receiving offers from a different team, so perhaps it isn’t the end of the line for the 21-year-old Estonian. Several fans began to debate on the nature of the incident, with a few apologists quickly getting shut down on Twitter:
While Red Bull has not yet decided what to do with Vips, the consequences seem grave. Formula 1 has, in recent years, taken a firm stand on racism.
Featured Image Credits: Red Bull Racing, Formula 2