Red Bull has responded to suggestions that defending champion Sebastian Vettel threw a 'hissy fit' over the performance of its new RB10 during the opening test of the year at Jerez.

The team has endured a difficult pre-season with the new car having faced a myriad of problems during the running carried out to date, most notably in Spain where technical issues severely restricted team's track time.

According to a light-hearted missive on the team's website by the 'Red Bull Spy', one 'major news broadcaster' had gone so far as to suggest that Vettel had refused to drive the car until problems were rectified - with the team quick to play down those reports as little more than nonsense.

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"It won't have escaped your notice that this hasn't been our smoothest winter," the team wrote. "The RB10 is a complicated beast and we've got a job list the length of the Shanghai back straight to get through. But we're getting through it. Everyone's doing long hours and we're all fairly knackered - though actually that's no different to when the car's spot-on. The team manager and the chief bolt both firmly believe the Devil makes work for idle hands. Unfortunately the long list of things they consider evidence of idleness includes sleeping and eating regular meals.

"We do, however, get the opportunity to make our own entertainment, one avenue to which is reading some of the more lurid speculation that's flying around. Our favourite today is the one about Seb apparently having a massive hissy fit in Jerez, refusing to drive the car because it wasn't very good, and storming off in a huff.~

"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. "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.

"Seb, 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."