‘No shortage’ of Red Bull talent despite Vips axe

Sam Cooper
Christian Horner wearing headphones on the pit wall. Baku June 2022.

Christian Horner believes Red Bull are still well-stocked when it comes to up-and-coming drivers despite Juri Vips’ sacking last week.

The 21-year-old was let go by the team following an online gaming stream in which he used a racial slur.

After videos of Vips using the racist term appeared on social media, Red Bull immediately announced he had been suspended before later terminating his contract.

He was however kept on by his Formula 2 team Hitech but that decision was criticised by the sport itself.

Liam Lawson has stepped up from Red Bull’s reserve pool to replace Vips and Horner believes the future is still bright despite the loss of the Estonian.

Speaking during the British Grand Prix weekend, Horner said it was in Red Bull’s nature to give youth a chance.

“Obviously we’ve got quite a few youngsters and really promising youngsters that are out there at the moment. We have, obviously, Liam Lawson,” Horner said.

“We have Dennis Hauger, you know, racing in Formula 2 as well as obviously [Jehan] Daruvala that remains as a junior driver, despite, you know, testing with another team. [Ayumu] Iwasa is showing great potential as well. And that’s just in Formula 2.”

 

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Red Bull have also seen the return of Johnny Edgar back into the paddock – who had to take a break from his Formula 3 career after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.

“In Formula 3, it’s great to see Johnny Edgar back after illness, quite a nasty illness earlier in the year, giving him another chance. Isack Hadjar is doing a super job as well.

“So we’ve got no shortage of talent coming through, all the way from karting through the different formulae. And that’s always been a policy of Red Bull, to give youth a chance, to back youth, and give opportunities to some of these kids that otherwise wouldn’t have been able to progress their careers.”

Red Bull have 11 drivers on their junior team currently racing, three of which have won titles. The academy can also boast the likes of Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel as some of its alumni to make it to Formula 1.