Max Verstappen has said he believes fired Red Bull driver Juri Vips deserves a second chance and that he understands what he did was wrong.
Vips was let go from Red Bull after using a racist slur whilst streaming live on Twitch but retained his seat at Formula 2 team Hitech Grand Prix.
Due to some misleading quotes given by Red Bull boss Christian Horner, there had been a belief Vips would stay on at the team in some capacity but that was later denied by Helmut Marko.
Verstappen has said he knows the 21-year-old better than most and that he feels “people deserve a second chance”.
“He is not part of Oracle Red Bull Racing as a reserve and test driver,” Verstappen said, as reported by GPFans.com.
“I feel people deserve a second chance. Probably not a third but some things can be easily said, sometimes not even really thought about how badly you can hurt someone.
“I know Juri a bit more than the average person and he’s actually a super-nice guy, and I think he really understood what he did wrong because he’s in a very difficult moment in his career with everyone judging him. Fair enough, what he said was not correct.
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) June 28, 2022
“I definitely think he deserves a second chance and I read the statement from F2 that they wouldn’t have done the same, but he deserves a second chance to show he learned from what he did wrong and go out there and show he can be a better person, or at least be more educated about what you are saying.”
If Vips is to be given that second chance, it appears it will not be with Red Bull after Marko said he no longer receives any support from the team.
“I want to be clear,” Marko told Austrian broadcaster ORF Tirol, quoted by SportsMole.
“Juri Vips no longer receives any support from Red Bull. You need to be responsible for your actions and as a result, our cooperation has ended.”
Marko seemed to hint at a shared belief with Verstappen that Vips should be given a second chance and expressed some unhappiness about how the association had come to an end.
“Of course, words are not a reason to destroy the career of a talented athlete,” the 79-year-old said.
“Especially as he apologised. But these are global trends.”
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