Disgraced former Red Bull driver in line for racing return after racism storm

Henry Valantine
Former Red Bull driver Juri Vips. Monaco, May 2022.

Juri Vips during the 5th round of the 2022 FIA Formula 2 Championship. Monaco, May 2022.

Former Red Bull junior driver Juri Vips could be set for a return to racing action later this year, reportedly being pencilled for an IndyCar outing.

The ex-Formula 2 driver was sacked by Red Bull last summer after being heard using a racist slur while live streaming an online gaming session, for which he swiftly put out a statement to “unreservedly apologise” for his actions.

Vips has not been in competitive racing since finishing the Formula 2 season last year without the support of Red Bull, and a respected IndyCar reporter has claimed he could make his debut in the series at one of the remaining rounds this season.

Former Red Bull junior could make IndyCar debut soon

IndyCar journalist Marshall Pruett claims that Vips, who has tested IndyCar machinery for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing on a couple of occasions in the past, could be in line to race later this year for the team, with regular race driver Jack Harvey having recently been dropped by the team after struggling this season.

When discussing the possible replacements for Harvey on The Week In IndyCar podcast, Pruett stated that the candidates were, alongside oval specialist Conor Daly: “Have also heard Toby Sowery’s name. He’s tested with the team, young British kid, lot of talent but hasn’t had a lot of opportunity of late, just lacking in the funding, but tested for the team [and] I think impressed them.

“Have heard he’ll be in the car for one of the two road races to close the year and Juri Vips, who has tested for them a couple of times, might be in for the other one.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

Six IndyCar drivers we’d love to see racing in Formula 1

F1 records: The drivers with the longest points-scoring streaks in history

A return to action for the 23-year-old could be seen as controversial following the manner of his departure from Red Bull after an investigation by the team last year.

Vips’ statement following the incident read: “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.”

Three rounds of the IndyCar season remain, which take place on consecutive weekends at the World Wide Technology Raceway on 27 August and Portland International Raceway on 3 September, before the season rounds off at Laguna Seca on 10 September.

Read next: Lewis Hamilton bias, Aston Martin-Honda and best rookie season – Your F1 questions answered