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Vips to drive Red Bull’s 2020 F1 car at Abu Dhabi

by Elliot Wood

Photo: Getty Images/Red Bull

Red Bull Racing reserve driver Juri Vips will get his first try-out in contemporary Formula 1 machinery when he joins the team for post-season testing.

Vips and former AlphaTauri driver Sebastien Buemi, who has since gone on to win Formula E and World Endurance Championship titles, will drive the Red Bull RB16 in Abu Dhabi next week in the so-called young driver test.

Red Bull junior Vips, who was set to race in Super Formula this year after missing out on the FIA superlicence points needed to race in F1, got his first testing opportunity with Red Bull at Silverstone last month in its title-winning 2012 car.

“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity that Aston Martin Red Bull Racing have given me to drive the RB16 at the young driver test in Abu Dhabi,” said Vips.

“This will be the first time I get to drive a current Formula One car as I did my 300km in an RB8.

“There will be a lot to learn but I will make sure I prepare as much as I can and it has been good for me to be with the Team as reserve driver for the last few races.”

Vips is currently in Bahrain participating in Formula 2’s post-season test with Hitech GP. He is lined up to drive for the British team in 2021, alongside fellow Red Bull junior and FIA Formula 3 Championship graduate Liam Lawson.

It is also expected that Vips will be kept on as Red Bull’s reserve driver for next year, while fellow F2 racer Yuki Tsunoda’s berth at sister outfit AlphaTauri for the young driver test is set to be preparation for the Japanese driver’s move up to F1 with the team.