Sebastian Vettel has denied throwing a tantrum after Sunday’s Monaco grand prix.
It was in the glitzy Principality that the reigning quadruple world champion’s 2014 hit a new low, with problems not only in qualifying but also the race.
“I heard that I kicked my helmet in the corner and shouted at the team!” the German said at the Red Bull Ring on Tuesday.
“I have no idea where that comes from. I prefer to find constructive solutions.
“Of course it’s not going perfectly at the moment and I was not very happy when I got out of the car, but at the same time the boys were cheering for Daniel (Ricciardo).
“I have to say he is doing a really good job, which I respect and say ‘Chapeau’.”
On the other hand, it seems obvious that Vettel has also already said ‘Au revoir’ to a fifth title in 2014.
“Red Bull can forget about the championship,” Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda told Austria’s O3 radio.
But Vettel insists he is not giving up yet.
“As long as everything is still mathematically possible, I keep fighting. We are still having blips but I think we are on the right track generally,” he said.
Part of the reason the maths are still working out for Red Bull is because, at the Abu Dhabi finale, double points will controversially be on offer.
“At the beginning we saw it differently,” Dr Helmut Marko smiled on Tuesday, “but now we are thrilled by this new rule!”
Meanwhile, Vettel said he sees nothing sinister in the fact that all of the ‘bad luck’ is concentrated on his car in 2014, rather than Ricciardo’s.
“Generally I don’t really like the word ‘luck’,” said Vettel. “There is always a reason when something goes wrong.”
And Vettel said that every problem is another lesson for the team. Marko insisted Red Bull is not giving up on 2014.
“After the shock of the winter, we have established ourselves as the second strongest team behind Mercedes,” Marko said. “It is not over yet.”
Vettel agreed: “We are the second force. But it would be wrong to compete with the goal of coming second to Mercedes.” (GMM)