Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has sensationally admitted axed driver Juri Vips may be given a second chance. The 21-year-old was removed as their test and reserve driver after he used a racist term during an online live stream earlier this month.
The team announced the news via an official statement which read: “Following its investigation into an online incident involving Juri Vips, Oracle Red Bull Racing has terminated Juri’s contract as its test and reserve driver. The team do not condone any form of racism.” However, Vips remains part of the junior driver programme, and has only had his contract as test and reserve driver for Red Bull Racing terminated.
Horner confirmed that Vips is still part of the team and they are planning to give him a second chance if he can show he has learnt from his mistakes. He said: “We have cancelled our agreement with him (Vips) and that will undoubtedly give him time for reflection.
“Everybody at some point deserves a second chance, if they can show that they have really learnt from their mistakes.He is a young guy, a young kid, and we will be supporting him – even though he has had his agreement terminated – from a mental health and educational perspective. Hopefully he will learn from it.”
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Vips has also held on to his F2 seat with Hitech this season, despite using a racist slur during a gaming live stream. Excerpts from a Hitech statement by team boss Oliver Oakes read: “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 used was totally unacceptable, but I choose to give him a chance to redeem himself. Hitech GP employs an inclusive work force and has never condoned racism or offensive behaviour in any forms.
“That said, if we live in a society where no one can make a mistake, then genuinely apologise, have the chance for redemption and learn from it – what does it say about society? I don’t know why he said what he said.
“By allowing him to keep racing with Hitech, we are giving Juri the opportunity to demonstrate genuine and sincere remorse for his actions. He must now grasp every opportunity to do so. He needs to make lasting changes and not just short-term virtue-signalling comments.
“While this may not satisfy everyone, I believe we all deserve a second chance in life, but never a third. Juri’s self-respect, his reputation and his career are now firmly in his hands.”