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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 10: Juri Vips of Estonia and Hitech Grand Prix (8) prepares to drive during practice ahead of Round 6:Baku of the Formula 2 Championship at Baku City Circuit on June 10, 2022 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

Hitech to retain Juri Vips after use of racial slur

Vips is no longer a Red Bull junior but he'll remain in Formula 2.

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Following an incident where Formula 2 driver Juri Vips used a racial slur in a Twitch stream, Hitech Grand Prix has announced he’ll continue to race for the rest of the season.

Formula 2 has also made a response to their decision. They stated that it was “surprising, and not one we would have taken.”

Hitech’s statement

Just hours after the incident occurred on Twitch and clips were posted on Twitter, Red Bull suspended Vips from their junior academy.

Recently, Red Bull confirmed that Vips had been terminated as a test and reserve driver for the team. At that point Hitech hadn’t made any official statements on the issue.

But today the F2 team released a statement from Oliver Oakes, the Team Principal. It stated that Vips would remain as a driver with Hitech GP for the rest of the season. Their goal is to give him the opportunity to redeem himself.

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

Oakes went on to say that Vips should have the chance for redemption. He believed being dropped by Red Bull was a “deservedly severe punishment”.

“My own view,” continued Oakes, “Is that no apologies or words alone are enough to mend the damage done. By allowing him to keep racing with Hitech, we are giving Juri the opportunity to demonstrate genuine and sincere remorse for his future actions.

“He must now grasp every opportunity to do so. He needs to make lasting changes and not just short-term virtue-signalling comments.”

The statement ended with Oakes saying that Hitech will not be making any further comments on this issue.

Formula 2’s Response

Not long after this statement was released by Hitech, Formula 2 responded with their own comment.

“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.”

Formula 2 went on to make a specific response to Hitech’s decision to retain Vips. It continued, “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.”

Formula 2, Vips included, will be racing at Silverstone this weekend. It will be a home race for Hitech, one that will surely be clouded with the fallout from their decision.

Feature Image Credit: Getty Images

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