Red Bull suspends junior driver Juri Vips for use of racial slur on live stream

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BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 20: Juri Vips of Estonia and Oracle Red Bull Racing talks with race engineer Hugh Bird in the garage during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on May 20, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Juri Vips of Estonia and Oracle Red Bull Racing talks with race engineer Hugh Bird in the garage during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on May 20, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Red Bull Racing has suspended junior driver Juri Vips, the team announced Wednesday, after he used the N-word and homophobic language during a Twitch stream.

Vips, 21, drives in Formula 2 for Red Bull. The team said that it condemned “abuse of any kind and have a zero-tolerance policy to racist language or behavior within our organization.”

Vips said the N-word during a live stream of a "Call of Duty" game he was playing. Per other reports, he also used homophobic language during the same stream.

He apologized for his actions after the suspension was announced.

"I wish to unreservedly apologize for the offensive language used during a live gaming stream earlier today," the Estonian driver 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 cooperate with the investigation fully."

Red Bull didn’t announce the length of Vips’ suspension.

This is the second high-profile suspension of a racing driver for the use of a live-streamed racial slur in the past three years.

The 2021 Cup Series champion Kyle Larson missed the final 32 races of the 2020 season and lost his ride at Chip Ganassi Racing when he used the same slur during a simulated race in the spring. After apologizing for his actions and using his platform for charitable work, Larson was hired by Hendrick Motorsports ahead of the 2021 season and won 10 races on the way to his first Cup Series title.

Vips made a practice appearance for Red Bull's F1 team in Spain and is currently seventh in the Formula 2 standings and eight points back of fourth. He’ll fall down the standings in short order as he starts to miss races because of the suspension.

The next Formula 2 race weekend begins June 30 at Silverstone in Great Britain.

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