Red Bull have hit back at reports that four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel threw “a hissy fit” during the recent pre-season test at Jerez by mocking the story, claiming that success has turned him into a “screaming primadonna” while making a very rude gesture towards chief technical officer Adrian Newey.
The comical update was posted via the Red Bull spy, used to bring the F1 community closer to the paddock. The reigning constructors’ champions have suffered a torrid time with unreliability in the build-up to this season, which gets underway on March 16th in Australia, and those troubles have carried over to the second and third tests in Bahrain on the Sakhir circuit.
After giving a brief update on the days’ action with new driver Daniel Ricciardo at the wheel, the Red Bull spy then turned his attentions to addressing the reports which came from “a major news broadcaster” earlier in the day.
F1 2014 car launch - The era of the 'anteaters'
F1 2014 car launch - The era of the 'anteaters'
1/17 McLaren - MP4-29
The Woking-based outfit launched their MP4-29 on January 24, with drivers Jenson Button and rookie Kevin Magnussen joined by reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne. However, the main talking point was the absence of team principal Martin Whitmarsh following the return of Ron Dennis
2/17 Williams - FW35
Williams were the first to unveil their car, albeit a computer-generated design. The real thing is yet to roll out of the garage at Jerez, with some last minute adjustments holding up its debut. Former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa joins the team to try and return them to the top of the sport, and he will partner Valteri Bottas who is retained from last season
3/17 Ferrari - F14T
The Italian manufacturers have pushed Red Bull hard in the past few years, but they hope the F14T will finally surpass their rivals and give either Fernando Alonso or the returning Kimi Raikkonen another World Championship to add to their collection
4/17 Ferrari - F14T
Raikkonen gets reacquainted with the Ferrari cockpit after a four-year absence from the prancing horse, but...
5/17 Ferrari - F14T
His joy is short lived as he becomes the first to suffer from unreliability as his car stops on track, requiring a lift back to the pit lane. He certainly won't be the last though
6/17 Sauber - C33-Ferrari
Sauber have followed the 'anteater' nose design for 2014, and hope for a more successful year than last with Adrian Sutil joining Esteban Gutierrez at the wheel
7/17 Lotus E22
Lotus launched their 2014 challenger, the E22, on the same day as team principal Eric Boullier left the team, with Gerard Lopez replacing him at the helm. With Romain Grosjean now the team leader, many will be watching how he and livewire Pastor Maldonado get on this year. Thta's if they turn up, as their absence from Jerez doesn't bode well
8/17 Mercedes - W05sup
Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton unveil the Mercedes W05sup at Jerez, which thankfully avoids the 'anteater' nose
9/17 Mercedes - W05sup
Many are tipping Hamilton and Rosberg to take the fight to Red Bull this year with the W05sup undoubtedly one of the nicer looking cars on this season's grid, but will it be as fast?
10/17 Red Bull - RB10
Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull are going for a record-equalling fifth straight drivers' and constructors' championship. They have also avoided the 'anteater' nose, and rival Mercedes for the best looking car of the year award. Is there anything Red Bull don't want to win? Daniel Ricciardo makes the step-up from Toro Rosso to replace the now absent Mark Webber
11/17 Toro Rosso - STR9
Toro Rosso's design sure isn't pretty, but they have taken a step into the unknown with rookie 19-year-old Daniil Kvyat. The Russian impressed in practice towards the end of last season, but how will he get on against his more experienced team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne?
12/17 Toro Rosso - STR9
The 'anteater' nose of the Toro Rosso SRT9, likened to a sex toy by lingerie makers Ann Summers
13/17 Force India - VJM07
The ever-impressive Nico Hulkenburg returns to the team he left at the end of 2012 having missed out on a seat at Ferrari, Lotus and McLaren. The German will have a point to prove once more, but he'll have a difficult enough time to beat team-mate Sergio Perez first
14/17 Caterham - CT04
After a short delay which saw their early morning unveiling cancelled, Caterham eventually rolled out their CT04 in the afternoon, with another rookie in Marcus Ericsson at the wheel, while the returning Kamui Kobayashi took the picture
15/17 Williams - FW36
Williams finally got their FW36 running after a delay on day one of testing at Jerez, with Valteri Bottas taking to the track
16/17 Marussia - MR03
Two days later than scheduled, Max Chilton eventually left the garage in the Marussia MR03 for its first run at Jerez
17/17 Marussia - MR03
Chilton brings the car back in after completing an installation lap
“A major news broadcaster posted the story this morning, along with the line "No-one outside the team knows whether it happened or not, and those on the inside wouldn't say,” the post read.
“Eh? Run that by me again?
“I suppose it could be true. Maybe four World Championships really have turned him into a screaming primadonna. Perhaps what really happened is Seb leapt out of the car and started foaming at the mouth. He made a very rude gesture in the direction of Adrian, snarled at Rocky, kicked Ole in the spanners and then stormed out of the garage, saddled his unicorn and rode back to Switzerland.
“Meanwhile Adrian's lost his copy of the Illustrated Junior Encyclopaedia of Motorsport and says he can't design without it. Daniel's sulking is really starting to get everyone down, Dr Marko has decided to return to his roots and become a dubstep producer under his street name DJ Graz and, after his New York residency last summer, Christian's far more interested in street art than F1 anyway.
“Seb, meanwhile has sent us a postcard, and says he's really sorry for all the fuss. He'll be back soon but has decided to chill for a while by spending a couple of weeks watching daytime soaps and eating crisps 'round at Mark's house.
“Maybe that's what happening. It's certainly a rumour. No one outside the team knows for sure and those inside won't say...”
Despite the tongue-in-cheek comments, the spy did stress that the team are working around the clock to address the current reliability issues they are experiencing, and although the mechanics are “knackered” from the work, it is no different to when the car is a world beater like it has been in the past four seasons.
They have two more days before the final test ends, when attentions can finally turn to the start of the 2014 season in Melbourne in two weeks' time.