A team statement 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.”
Red Bull’s confirmation that Vips would exit the team came on the same day that Nelson Piquet’s racist slur of Lewis Hamilton emerged.
Hamilton responded to the ex-F1 world champion, and the father of Max Verstappen’s girlfriend, with a series of tweets including: “Let’s focus on changing the mindset.”
F1, the FIA, Mercedes and Ferrari backed Hamilton with public proclamations against racism.
Red Bull have been embroiled in this internal scandal with Vips since last week, when it emerged that he said a racist slur while live streaming himself playing ‘Call of Duty’ on the social platform Twitch.
Vips was suspended pending an investigation.
He apologised at the time of his suspension, saying: “I wish to unreservedly apologise for the offensive language used during a live gaming stream earlier today.
“This language is entirely unacceptable and does not portray the values and principles that I hold. I deeply regret my actions and this is not the example I wish to set. I will co-operate with the investigation fully.”
Who is Juri Vips?
He is a 21-year-old Estonian who was in the Red Bull team as a nominated test and reserve driver, behind the team’s Formula 1 duo Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
Vips was competing in his third year of F2 this season.
He drove for Red Bull in test and practice days last season, and this year.
F1 facing major racism questions
In the days leading up to the F1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, the issue of racism within Formula 1 is sure to be the main topic.
Both Hamilton and Red Bull have found themselves at the centre of separate issues on the same day.
Verstappen’s girlfriend’s father labelled Hamilton a racist name, before the reigning champion’s team terminated the contract of Vips who also made a racist remark.
It is particularly poignant timing given that both incidents happened in the build-up to Hamilton’s home race – the seven-time world champion from Britain has always been an advocate for social change whose influence extends far beyond the race track.
His words on issues of race and social change will perhaps never be more powerful than when he addresses the media at Silverstone on Thursday.