Vips rubbishes talk of 2021 promotion

Michelle Foster
Juri Vips

Taking part in a private test ahead of the Turkish GP weekend, Juri Vips has denied speculation that he could be in line for a Formula 1 promotion.

Vips joined AlphaTauri and Red Bull Racing at Istanbul Park, taking up the reserve driver duties for the weekend.

In order to make that happen, the 20-year-old, who has been part of the Red Bull junior programme since the end of 2018, did a private test, reportedly behind the wheel of a Red Bull RB8 at the Silverstone circuit.

He completed the required 300km in an F1 car to gain an FIA super licence.

With 32 points to his name, the Formula 2 driver could be promoted to Formula 1 next season after the FIA tweaked the rules to allow drivers whose seasons have been impacted by the pandemic to race in F1 even if they only have 30 of the required 40 points.

Vips has been quick to shut that down.

“I know that getting the super licence means nothing for next year, because next season I will not be in Formula 1,” quotes him as having told the Estonian broadcaster ERR.

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He is, however, happy to have the super licence resolved as that removes some of the pressure ahead of his first full season in Formula 2 next year.

“With the super licence, the pressure next year will be much less,” he said.

“I will be in Formula 2. In recent years I needed to be in certain places in the categories to get points for the super licence, but now I finally have it.”

AlphaTauri has yet to announce its second driver for next season.

While Pierre Gasly has already been confirmed, it looks as if his current team-mate Daniil Kvyat is on his way out.

The Russian driver will either be replaced by Honda protege and Formula 2 driver Yuki Tsunoda or Alex Albon, should the Thai-British racer be demoted back to the junior team.

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