Red Bull junior driver Patricio O’Ward will not be taking part in the Super Formula finale at Suzuka, with Team Mugen confirming Juri Vips in his place.
The final round of the 2019 Super Formula Championship takes place on the 27th of October at the Suzuka circuit. However, having only make his series debut a few rounds ago, Red Bull junior driver Patricio O’Ward has been replaced at Team Mugen for the race.
O’Ward was brought in as a replacement for Dan Ticktum after the third round at Sugo, with Ticktum dropped entirely from Red Bull’s programme. O’Ward, having impressed with his few appearances in IndyCar with Carlin, was signed up and parachuted into Ticktum’s seat and has taken part in the three Super Formula rounds held since then. He also took part in the Formula 2 round in Austria with MP Motorsport, with Red Bull’s backing.
While O’Ward finished in P14 in the first two Super Formula rounds he participated in, he finished P6 in the most recent round in Okayama. However, Formula 3 Hitech racer Juri Vips will take his seat – another member of the Red Bull driver programme.
At time of publishing, no reason for the switch has been given, but it’s worth noting that the race at Suzuka is on the same day as the Mexican Grand Prix – O’Ward’s ‘home event’. While O’Ward doesn’t have any likely driving commitments, it’s possible that he is being brought to Mexico for marketing purposes. FormulaSpy has asked Red Bull for a statement on the switch and this story will be updated.
Red Bull Junior TeamでFIA Formula 3 Championshipに参戦中の、Jüri Vips (ユーリ・ビップス)選手をチームに迎え、10月25日(金)～27日(日)に開催される、2019年全日本スー パーフォーミュラ選手権 最終戦 第18回 JAF鈴鹿グランプリに参戦いたします。 pic.twitter.com/iVKOOaHZao
— MUGEN1973 (@mugen1973) October 18, 2019