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Red Bull's Formula 1 team have suspended a junior driver of all duties after he said a racial slur during a video game live stream.
21-year-old Juri Vips was playing first-person shooter Call of Duty: Warzone with fellow Red Bull driver Liam Lawson when he appeared to say the N-word.
At first, exactly what was said remained unknown as Red Bull launched a "full investigation" into the matter.
But it wasn't long before footage of the incident emerged online and fans instantly realised the severity of it all, some even suggesting Vips had "thrown away his chances" and that he'd "got a red flag before his F1 career had even started".
I think Juri Vips has just ended his career… pic.twitter.com/0Xm4zg7tPJ— Ash Dawson (@AshDawson40) June 21, 2022
i screenrecorded it, but it was around 02:26:26 pic.twitter.com/CclSOqERfP— k (@ilottofhope) June 21, 2022
Once the Twitch clip started doing the rounds on social media, Red Bull quickly released a statement condemning their driver's actions.
“Red Bull Racing has suspended junior driver Juri Vips for from all team duties with immediate effect, pending a full investigation into the incident.
“As an organisation, we condemn abuse of any kind and have a zero-tolerance policy to racist language or behaviour within our organisation.”
Vips also released his own statement via Instagram.
“I wish to unreservedly apologise for the offensive language used during a live gaming stream earlier today," he wrote.
“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.”
The Estonian driver is in his third season in Formula 2 and currently sites in seventh place on the championship ladder.
And at 21, he has been tipped to eventually move into F1 – although that has been thrown into doubt following this latest incident.
Vips got an early taste of what it's like to be in the seat of an F1 car back in May when he filled in for Sergio Perez’s during the first practice at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.
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