Red Bull Junior Team’s Juri Vips will compete in Formula Regional European Championship in 2020 amid travel restrictions to Japan.
Having finished fourth in 2019 FIA Formula 3 Championship drivers’ standings, Vips moved to Super Formula for few rounds, where he was also confirmed to compete in 2020 with Team Mugen. Red Bull opted for the Japanese route with their Honda ties.
They will have new recruit Jehan Daruvala and Honda-backed Yuki Tsunoda competing in F2, while the other contingent will be in F3. Vips was the only to race in Super Formula but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation has become tricky for the Estonian.
Therefore, he has signed up with KIC Motorsport to race in the Formula Regional European Championship alongside Finn duo Konsta Lappalainen and Patrik Pasma. It is step back for Vips but he will be in good position to earn chunk of superlicense points for F1 move.
Going by experience and level, Vips is in prime position to move to F1 in 2021 if Red Bull things so with Daruvala and Tsunoda only others. The Estonian joins the likes of Jamie Chadwick and Arthur Leclerc to compete in FREC for the title and points.
“BOOM! Estonian Juri Vips strengthens KIC Motorsport,” read a team statement on its social media account. “Together with our two flying Finns Konsta Lappalainen and Patrik Pasma we have a very strong team for 2020 season.”
The FREC season starts on July 31 – August 2 weekend at Misano and will end on December 4-6 at Vallelunga with eight rounds in all. It is unclear if Vips will race in Super Formula which is to start on August 30 at Motegi and end on December 20 at Fuji.
As per F1 Feeder Series channel, Super Formula will be given priority over FREC and whenever he can travel to Japan, he will do so. There are two clashes as per the current calendars announced by both the championships.
In terms of F1 superlicense points, FREC offers the same number as Super Formula, with 25 awarded to the champion. As of now, Vips has 25 points of the 40 required – and so finishing third in the Europe-based series would bring him up to the tally he needs.
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