The Formula 2 grid is never short of Red Bull junior drivers looking to stand out and Jüri Vips is quite the character.
We sat down with the Estonian to get a better clue about his life away from the track, including his unusual laundry methods that almost cost him dearly, his favourite cake, music and holiday destinations.
Where did you grow up?
“I grew up in Estonia. I was born in the capital (Tallinn), basically all my childhood I lived there.”
Who's your favourite non-motorsport athlete?
“I played football when I was younger so (Lionel) Messi I looked up to. I wasn't a big fan or anything but a little bit. Any other sports didn't really interest me that much.”
“We have now a really good rally driver who won the World Championship. But there's no huge sports.”
How did you learn to relax during your time away from racing?
"I have a really busy schedule this year, so recovery is obviously very important.
“I have a lot of a lot of work to do for (Red Bull). Recovery is very important to me and I just try and sleep a lot and relax in my house.”
What’s at the top of your bucket list?
“I would like to take friends and family around in this two-seater F1 car. I think Ferrari has one and I'm not sure if other teams do but I've seen some videos of that and it just this looks really cool. I want to take my friends and family around in that.”
Who are your best friends on the grid?
“I get along with pretty much everyone. I would say probably the closest is Liam (Lawson) and Jehan (Daruvala).”
Favourite cheat meal?
“I think it’s Domino's cheesy garlic bread. You know the one. They’re really really so bad (for you). If not then a good greasy burger will do.”
If you could go back to any moment in history, what would it be?
“In the early 90s when Estonia gained its independence. Basically all of Estonia went out on the streets and celebrated. I just missed it by nearly 10 years.
"I think it'd be really cool to witness it with my eyes. They made like a chain from the north of Estonia to south Lithuania, which is like 1000 kilometres, just everyone's holding hands in a chain. So that would have been quite cool I think.”
If you weren't a driver, what would you do instead?
“I'd be useless. If I wasn't driving, if I had to stop driving now, I would probably still look for a job in motorsports because that's what I'm interested in. I guess it's like a driver culture is like a very standard thing. I'm not sure if that's exactly what I would want. But it's probably like an easy option but I can't think of anything better to do.
“I'm quite intrigued by the stock market as well, even though it looks quite boring, but I think if I knew what I doing and taught myself for a while then that's probably what I would end up doing.”
Favourite movies or TV series?
“It keeps changing. Favourite TV series is easy: Two and a Half Men. I love it. I can't think of one (movie) to be honest. There's been plenty of good ones to watch but nothing really stuck. I like all (Quentin) Tarantino movies normally.”
What was the last song you listened to?
“I was listening to the radio and some Italian junk on the way here this morning. Eurovision.”
What is the funniest thing you've ever done?
“I'll tell one very funny story that people laugh at. After Silverstone last year, my girlfriend was over at my house with her friend and all my dirty laundry from the weekend was in a bin bag. That's how I normally do it, I just come and clean it later. I guess they that it was an actual bin bag in the middle of my living room, because I didn't bother to do the laundry immediately after the race.
“So there were some banana peels and bottles and stuff on top of it and they were probably like ‘ok, it’s a trash can,’ so they took it out and threw it away. Then I thought to myself a couple days later, ‘where’s all my racing kit, what did I do with it?’
"It was all my racing kit, literally all of it that I've used during the weekend. I basically had nothing left, so then I'm panicking and I'm calling the apartment and the company that pick up the garbage. Luckily, they clean it every week and I was just searching for like an hour it was the nastiest thing I've ever done in my life. It was it was really really bad. I went there with like this air freshener, as well and I was like spraying everywhere but it was nasty.
“It took me probably 45 minutes to an hour or something until I found my stuff finally, but at least it was such a relief when I saw it was still fine. So I nearly lost all my racing kit last year.”
What is your dream birthday cake?
“I tried this one last year, tres leches cake. It was really nice. It's like three milks, normal milk, some other milk and condensed milk. They soak the cake so it's very soggy. And then they put layers of cream in as well. People should try it, it’s amazing.”
What's your favourite racing memory?
“I would say either getting my Super Licence at the end of 2020 or I would say 2018 when I knew that I was signing with Red Bull and that my career will continue. I was going to stop racing after 2018 because I didn't have the budget and without Red Bull, I would have stopped so it was probably the happiest moment of my career.”
Do you have a quote to live by?
“Yeah actually, I can think of one. I can't remember exactly how it goes. I saw it a couple years ago and it's like, don't think about winning, but think about the process and the steps you do to get you there.”
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
“A lot of people say good things about South Africa. I'm quite keen to do that to be honest. New Zealand is on the list as well. I really really loved Japan. I lived there for three months in 2020. Not by choice but still.
“It wasn't that bad with the Covid regulations. I was in Osaka. I had no idea it existed before going to Japan. It’s huge. A lot of time I was alone, but it was still really, really cool. I'd want to go back there but if I had a choice to go anywhere, I would go to a place that I haven't visited before like South Africa.”