In the wake of being removed from his post as Red Bull Racing’s test and reserve driver, Hitech Grand Prix Formula 2 driver Jüri Vips has made it his goal to “become a better person”. Vips was suspended and later dismissed from the Formula 1 team after footage surfaced in which he uttered a racial slur while streaming on Twitch. After qualifying second on Friday at the Red Bull Ring, Vips spoke to F1 Feeder Series and selected media about his current feelings on the situation.
By Tyler Foster
In a statement released by Hitech on 29 June, the day after Vips’ firing from Red Bull was announced, team principal Oliver Oakes said that by “allowing him to complete his season with Hitech”, Vips was given a chance “to demonstrate, through his actions, the type of person he is”.
In response, the FIA Formula 2 Championship issued a statement of its own expressing disappointment with Hitech’s decision to retain Vips. The statement read, “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.”
The Estonian driver made it clear that he understood the decision by Red Bull to terminate his roles within the team. He has also accepted the statement made by Formula 2 in connection to Hitech’s decision to allow him to remain in his seat until the end of the year. Speaking about his situation and the F2 statement that followed, Vips commented, “I did a huge mistake”.
“I offended a lot of people, and they are completely right to say these things. I’m just very humbled and thankful to Hitech to give me a second chance. 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 that I learned from this.”
While Vips has been removed from his roles with Red Bull Racing, it was confirmed to F1 Feeder Series on Wednesday that he remains a part of the Red Bull Junior Team for now even though there are no Red Bull logos on his fire suit or his Hitech car. When asked during the press conference about his position within the Red Bull Junior Team, Vips refused to comment.
Vips will start second on the grid for Sunday’s F2 Feature Race and ninth for Saturday’s Sprint Race. He currently sits seventh in the drivers’ standings on 59 points, tied with his former Hitech teammate Liam Lawson and his current teammate Marcus Armstrong.
Header photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool