After using a racial slur on a Twitch live stream, F2 driver Juri Vips’ Red Bull contract was terminated, leaving a gap in Red Bull’s reserve and test driver positions.
Christian Horner has revealed Liam Lawson will resume the role previously held by Vips whilst also praising the progress of Red Bull’s other academy drivers and analysing their overall performances.
“Well, Liam Lawson steps into that role, obviously following the Juri Vips announcement.
Jehan [Daruvala] is doing a great job, and we’re just following his progress with interest, as well as Dennis Hauger as well, all qualifying for super licences. That’s our coverage at this point in time.”
Red Bull’s driver academy remains as stacked with talent as ever. Still, the strong showings from the ever-consistent Pierre Gasly and rapidly improving Yuki Tsunoda make entry into Formula 1 extremely difficult.
However, with Gasly expected to explore options beyond Red Bull at the end of 2023, it seems likely that there will be an opening at Alpha Tauri, a team which rarely keeps the same driver pairing for three seasons consecutively.
Horner continued by explaining the promise of Red Bull’s youngsters:
“Well, obviously, we’ve got quite a few youngsters and really promising youngsters that are out there at the moment. We’ve got, obviously, Liam Lawson, we have Dennis Hauger racing in Formula 2 and then obviously Daruvala, who remains a junior driver despite testing with another team.
[Ayumu] Iwasa is showing great potential as well – and that’s just in Formula 2. In Formula 3, it’s great to see Jonny Edgar back after illness – quite a nasty illness – earlier this 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.”