Red Bull want Vips to prove he is ‘F1 worthy’

Jamie Woodhouse
Juri Vips talking to Helmut Marko. Baku June 2021.

Juri Vips talking to Helmut Marko at the Formula 2 Championship event in Azerbaijan. Baku June 2021.

Red Bull junior driver Juri Vips says the target set for him by the Austrian-owned outfit in 2022 is to prove he is worthy of a Formula 1 drive.

The Estonian racer is preparing for his third campaign in Formula 2, remaining with the Hitech team where he claimed two race wins in 2021 on his way to P6 in the final Drivers’ standings.

But after going through a phase when the Red Bull Junior Team was looking a bit dry for talent on the verge of Formula 1, now the programme is arguably in its healthiest state yet.

Vips has revealed Red Bull have not given him an order to win the F2 title, like Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur has for Theo Pourchaire.

Instead, he simply has to prove he deserves a chance in Formula 1.

The 21-year-old drove for Red Bull at the 2021 young drivers’ test following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, a year on from testing the RB16 at the same event.

“I don’t have a certain set goal from Red Bull that I have to win the title or anything. I just have to prove I am F1 worthy,” he told the Formula 2 website.

“At the test, it was cool to see the difference between the two Red Bull cars, the changes and the improvements they made between the two years.

“Any day you drive an F1 car – especially a championship-winning one – is amazing. It felt very surreal because it was only a couple of days after they won the championship. It felt very special.

“Those days are very important because it is a direct communication to the team of what your performance is like.

“Of course, they can judge you in F2, but when you drive the F1 car they have the exact details and can really tell how good or bad you are.”

Vips though is very much focused on finding success in Formula 2 during the upcoming campaign, saying he feels “very blessed” to even be on the grid.

But as for any title aspirations, he believes PREMA, who have topped the Teams’ and Drivers’ Championships in Formula 2 for the past two seasons, are in a “different league” and will be very tough to beat.

PREMA boast an all-Red Bull junior line-up for the 2022 F2 season consisting of reigning F3 champion Dennis Hauger and Jehan Daruvala.


“I feel very blessed to even be on the grid this year,” said Vips.

“It’s always a blessing to be on the grid and to have the opportunity with Hitech again. I think we had potential last year, although we didn’t have a strong year in my opinion, but that is down to a lot of factors.

“I am very happy with the team. It’s a great group of people and I am excited to spend another year with them. I think we can achieve really good things together and fight for a very good position in the Championship and hopefully even challenge PREMA.

“In terms of the title, it will be very difficult to defeat PREMA, honestly. I think they are in a bit of a different league to everyone else. It is always possible but it is very difficult.

“We made some steps forward at post-season testing. In race runs we were always fast and I think we have continued to take steps to get faster.”


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